The NCAA confirmed what was reported yesterday by CBSSports.com, that the Infractions Appeals Committee upheld all findings and penalties against USC in their infractions case involving former players Reggie Bush and O.J. Mayo. Last June the NCAA Committee on Infractions found the school lacked institutional control, had several athletes that took extra benefits and exceeded football coaching staff limits.
"We respectfully, but vehemently, disagree with the findings of the NCAA’s Infractions Appeals Committee," the school said in a statement. "Our position was that the Committee on Infractions abused its discretion and imposed penalties last June that were excessive and inconsistent with established case precedent."
As a result of the decision, the penalties the school appealed -- which had been stayed until the appeals process was completed -- will now go into effect. Penalties include a ban on postseason play for the 2011 season, a limit of 15 scholarships and 75 total scholarships for three years beginning with the class of 2012 and four years of probation.
"I respect the NCAA's decision to uphold the sanctions against USC," head coach Lane Kiffin said. "That being said, I am disappointed for our players, our fans and our staff that another bowl game and now a possible Pac-12 championship game has been taken away from them.
"We have been operating with these sanctions for a year now and have felt their effects on multiple fronts. We will continue to execute the plan we have in place to make the most of the hand with which we have been dealt."
The release of the school's appeal brings to a close one of the longest infractions cases in NCAA history, ending five years, one month, and six days after a formal investigation into the school was launched. The school had appealed the second year of the postseason ban and the scholarship reductions imposed.
As a result of the penalties, prior to any underclassmen or transfers, USC will only be able to sign six players in the class of 2012 in order to get under the 75-man roster limit. The school is also prohibited from playing in the inaugural Pac-12 championship game.