Most of us remembers the movie “Blue Chips” with Nick Nolte and NBA teammates at the time Shaquille O’Neal and Anfernee ‘Penny’ Hardaway. Those of us who saw it would more likely than not call the movie crap. Poor acting made it crap — the story however was gold.
Because the story was real — ask Southern Cal.
The Men of Troy was hit with sanctions by the NCAA because of ‘blue chip’ like measures to their student athletes, namely former athletes Reggie Bush and O.J. Mayo. The NCAA reported that both Bush and Mayo took improper funds while attending the institution. Both are now playing professionally.
I’m not going to go into details about the ‘case.’ It’s not USC’s fault that it was “caught.” I don’t think it was caught at all. On the contrary, USC became the NCAA’s newest fall guy. USC became NCAA’s newest scapegoat.
If anyone really believes that USC is the only program in the nation that “benefits” its athletes, you’re as dumb as Neon Boudeaux pretended to be. With many high profile black prospects coming out of low poverty areas, ‘under the table’ bids are made all of the time. Do you really think academics play a role in an athlete from the hood decision to go to school?
Did you really think that Mayo, who came out of high school as the nation’s No. 1 prospect, attended USC, a program that barely make noise in the Pac-10 over Duke or Kansas because he believed he could lead the Trojans to the Final Four?
USC just became the easiest target. It is located in LA, its athletes party like rock stars and its football program stays atop of the polls year end and year out. What other program right now is more justified for the NCAA to go after? The U (Miami) went through it, the Tide went through it so it’s USC’s turn.
This wasn’t a USC problem — it is a NCAA problem. Fortunately, for the NCAA, USC didn’t hold up to its end of the bargain (like breaking the NCAA off a lil sumthin, sumthin) so the heat is off … until the next time.