Shortly after sanctions were handed down/slammed onto the USC football program for the Reggie Bush fiasco, it was widely expected that the Trojans would be stripped of their 2004 BcS championship.
Nearly a year after those sanctions were levied on the program, and shortly after the school’s appeal of those sanctions was denied, the Trojans have indeed been stripped of the title.
According to a statement by BcS executive director Bill Hancock, USC’s 2004 title has officially been wiped off the books. The Trojans become the first football program to have a title vacated in the poll era.
The Associated Press had previously announced that USC would keep their 2004 AP title regardless of the sanctions and subsequent appeal, while the Football Writers Association of America, like the BcS, stripped the Trojans of their ’04 crown.
“The BCS arrangement crowns a national champion, and the BCS games are showcase events for post-season football,” Hancock said. “One of the best ways of ensuring that they remain so is for us to foster full compliance with NCAA rules. Accordingly, in keeping with the NCAA’s recent action, USC’s appearances are being vacated.
“This action reflects the scope of the BCS arrangement and is consistent with the NCAA’s approach when it subsequently discovers infractions by institutions whose teams have played in NCAA championship events.”
In addition to the vacated national title, USC is also forced to vacate their 2006 Rose Bowl appearance, a 41-38 win by Texas in the thrilling title game following the 2005 season.
And, no Auburn and/or Oklahoma, there will not be a new champion; rather, there will be no official winner of the ’04 title, although unofficially people will still remember the 55-19 pounding the Trojans put on the Sooners in the title game.
It’s unclear whether USC will return the crystal football trophy as it did with their copy of Bush’s Heisman.
As of this posting, there’s been no official comment from the school on this admittedly expected development.
UPDATED 5:01 p.m. ET: USC athletic director Pat Haden has released a statement on the BcS’ decision.
“This was not an unexpected outcome. We will comply with all requirements mandated by the result of this BCS vote.”
Additional, a school spokesperson confirmed to the Orange County Register that the BcS trophy was removed from the Heritage Hall lobby this morning. It remains unclear if the university will be shipping the crystal hardware back to the BcS.