Pat Haden was hoping for a quick turnaround by the NCAA on his request to have his football program’s sanctions reviewed/reduced. While the athletic director received the expediency for which he was looking, he didn’t get the response he would’ve preferred.
Saying “[t]here is no comparison between USC and Penn State,” the NCAA announced Friday that it has denied the former’s appeal, adding that there will be “no further consideration given” to the school in regards to its sanctions.
The NCAA had announced Tuesday that it would, beginning next year, be restoring some of the scholarships Penn State had lost as a result of sanctions stemming from the Jerry Sandusky scandal. Haden, who had a previously-scheduled meeting with the NCAA on unrelated matters, used the opportunity to request that scholarship restrictions on his Trojans football team — which end this year — be eased or some redress be given to the program.
In a statement posted on one of the school’s official websites Thursday, Haden described ‘“outside the box’ solutions to the scholarship issues resulting from the injuries and transfers experienced by our football team over the past three seasons.” It was never specified what Haden had proposed to the NCAA.
While the Trojans’ full allotment of 25 scholarships will be restored for the 2014 recruiting class — they had been stripped of 10 annually from 2011-13 — they will still be limited to 75 instead of the normal 85 scholarship players next year. More than likely, that was the area in which Haden was seeking some type of relief.
In 2015, USC will be permitted to get back to the 85-scholarship limit.
The first month of the football season at Rutgers has had its share of off-field stories worth keeping an eye on, so the news on Tuesday that the university has hired Bond, Schoeneck & King, a law firm with a history of working on NCAA violation cases, is certainly a bit of an eye-opener. The NCAA is not, at this time, investigating Rutgers. Instead, this is a move to investigate a pair of concerns related to the football program so that they may be properly reported to the NCAA if and when needed.
“Rutgers has retained outside counsel with expertise in NCAA infractions to help identify any potential rules violations,” Rutgers senior vice president for external affairs Peter McDonough said in a report published by NJ.com. “This is an ongoing and rigorous process that helps us to identify any shortcomings, to self-report them as required by NCAA rules and to remedy them as best practices demand.”
According to the report from NJ.com, Rutgers is focusing on one allegation of an arrested player failing multiple drug tests while on the team and accusations related to the program’s ambassador program. The name of the former player was not identified in the report. The ambassador program has come into scrutiny following the evolving case related to wide receiver Leonte Carroo.
The hired firm tends to serve as a liaison with the NCAA, but Rutgers will be given a final copy of the firm’s investigation for review. If Rutgers determines any NCAA violations were commited as determined by the report, that information will be passed on to the NCAA. The information revealed or uncovered in the firm’s investigation will determine if the NCAA will have to do some of its own digging, or merely adopt the firm’s report at face value and decide on any appropriate punishment from there.
Rutgers wide receiver Leonte Carroo could have a charge of simple assault dropped by a New Jersey court today. The woman he is accused of slamming to the concrete has agreed to drop the restraining order request and has asked the assault charge against the Rutgers receiver be dropped as well. NJ.com reports today the woman and Carroo each appeared in a family court on Tuesday, and the woman told the judge she is not scared of Carroo.
So, what does this mean for football? Simply put, it means Carroo may be eligible to play again as soon as this weekend. That would be good timing, as Rutgers is set to host Michigan State this Saturday night.
Carroo has been sitting out while serving an indefinite suspension while this legal process plays out. Carroo has missed each of the last two games for Rutgers, against Penn State and Kansas. Rutgers was off this past weekend. If this legal process does play out as it is expected at this point, Carroo could be reinstated quickly and promptly, making him eligible to return right away. Carroo is one fo the best players on the roster, so having him back and eligible to play is very good news for the Scarlet Knights offense.