Los Angeles The NCAA leveled Southern California with stinging penalties Thursday, issuing a two-year bowl ban and declaring Heisman Trophy winner Reggie Bush ineligible dating back to the Trojans’ 2004 national championship.
Citing USC for a lack of institutional control in its long-awaited report, the NCAA also put the entire athletic program on four years’ probation, took away a total of 30 football scholarships over three years and vacated every victory in which Bush participated in from December 2004 through the 2005 season.
The four-year investigation revealed numerous improper benefits involving former men’s basketball player O.J. Mayo and Bush.
“I am disappointed by (Thursday’s) decision and disagree with the NCAA’s findings. If the University decides to appeal, I will continue to cooperate with the NCAA and USC, as I did during the investigation,” Bush said. “In the meantime, I will continue to focus on making a positive impact for the University and for the community where I live.”
USC plans to appeal some of the penalties it believes are excessive.
The USC men’s basketball team banned itself from postseason play last season, among other self-imposed penalties. The NCAA levied no further penalties.