The NCAA threw the book at storied Southern California today with a two-year bowl ban, four years' probation, loss of scholarships and forfeits of an entire year's games for improper benefits to Heisman Trophy winner Reggie Bush dating to the Trojans' 2004 national championship.The report, following a four-year investigation, cited numerous improper benefits for Bush and former basketball player O.J. Mayo, who spent just one year with the Trojans.
The NCAA says Bush received lavish gifts from two fledgling sports marketers hoping to sign him. The men paid for everything from hotel stays and a rent-free home where Bush's family apparently lived to a limousine and a new suit when he accepted his Heisman in New York in December 2005. The coaches who presided over the alleged misdeeds—football's Pete Carroll and basketball's Tim Floyd—left USC in the past year. The penalties include the loss of 30 football scholarships over three years and vacating 14 victories in which Bush played from December 2004 through the 2005 season. "The general campus environment surrounding the violations troubled the committee," said the report, which also condemned the star treatment afforded to Bush and Mayo, saying USC's oversight of its top athletes ran contrary to the fundamental principles of amateur sports.