I was perusing some college football articles today when I came across this article talking about the sanctions at USC and the role arrogance played written by Dan Wetzel. He speaks in the article about the recent changing of the guard at USC, with new University President Max Nikias in charge and old Athletic Director Mike Garrett being booted out in favor of former star quarterback and Rhodes Scholar Pat Haden.
In case you hadn't heard, the University will be returning Reggie Bush's Heisman Trophy to the Heisman trust, and will be removing all imagery of Bush and O.J. Mayo from school property. But who is really going to be the goat in all this?
Well looks like it will be Lane "Judas" Kiffin who ends up shouldering all the fallout. A quote from Wetzel's article:
The tough stuff comes now. The adults are in. New coach Lane Kiffin is dealing with potentially crippling sanctions and a new AD with whom he’d appear to have nothing in common. Haden is a mature and educated man whose focus is ethics and says his life has been guided by never wanting to do anything that would embarrass his now late mother. Kiffin is a brash, foot-in-the-mouth, secondary-violation machine.
"I think so," Haden said on ESPN when asked if Kiffin was the right guy for USC, about as un-ringing of an endorsement as you’ll hear. Haden then went on to praise the way rivals Stanford and Notre Dame do business.
Kiffin hasn’t even coached a game and must already be wishing he was back on ol’ Rocky Top. Trojan players are staring at a two-year bowl ban. Garrett has two weeks to clean out the office. Bush is too humiliated to show up for a fan chat.
So let's check the scoreboard of the parties involved:
The University of Southern California football program loses 30 scholarships, receives a 2 year bowl ban, forfeits a national title, must give back Bush's Heisman, and must cut all ties with 2 of its most distinguished alumni. They will also watch many of their prized recruits go elsewhere, as well as current players transfer to other schools without penalty. That's the bad news. The good news, for USC, is that long term they will be okay. They now have what appears to be a new era beginning in their athletic department that will foster winners based on integrity instead of entitlement. They also are beginning to admit all of the things surrounding this who scenario hoping to gain some scholarships back in their appeals process.
Reggie Bush takes a huge hit to his popularity with his former Alma Mater and in theory has lost his Heisman Trophy. However, he has already made millions of dollars in the NFL, and will continue to do so for the foreseeable future. So, long term, he will not be hurting, except when he tries to teach his kids one day about ethics.
O.J. Mayo takes the same hit to popularity back at USC, maybe a little less so, but gets to make tons of money in the NBA, paralleling Bush's earnings in the NFL. He also faces the same long term consequences as Bush, but not monetarily.
Pete Carroll skips town before the whole thing blows up, even though he was the general in charge when it all went down. He signs a lucrative deal to be the head coach of the Seattle Seahawks, and then acts surprised when he is asked about all the sanctions being imposed on USC. Some USC fans chastise him for eternity as being a traitor to the program, while most of them put the blinders on and continue to revere him as the greatest coach in southern Cal history.
And now... for Lane Kiffin. This requires a bulleted list:
- Was on staff at USC during during Bush's tenure, and therefore is guilty at least by association.
- Was hired by an atheletic director that has now been fired (Mike Garrett) and replaced with a USC hero and rhodes scholar Pat Haden, who has been charged with building a winning program with an emphasis on following the rules.
- Kiffin doesn't know what a rule or a rulebook is and has to try and build said winning program under the hinderance of having lost all the scholarships and eligibility outlined above in my piece about USC.
- Kiffin is on his third head coaching job in three years, on a contract drawn up under supervision of the old Athletic Director, and being compensated $4,000,000 a year to "win at all costs"... or so he thought.
In conclusion... Lane Kiffin is totally...