USC Announces Self-Imposed Sanctions on Men’s Basketball Team

January 3, 2010

The University of Southern California (USC) today announced that it has implemented self-imposed sanctions on its men’s basketball program for violating NCAA rules.

The sanctions are a result of a university investigation that found NCAA rules violations related to O.J. Mayo, who played for the USC’s men’s basketball team during the 2007-2008 season.

"USC takes allegations of NCAA rules violations very seriously. When allegations were made regarding our men’s basketball program, we immediately began an investigation and worked closely with the NCAA and the Pac-10 in an attempt to ascertain the truth," said USC Athletic Director Mike Garrett. "When we’ve done something wrong, we have an obligation to do something about it, and that is exactly what we are doing here."

The self-imposed sanctions for the men’s basketball program include a one-year ban on post-season competition following the 2009-2010 regular season, including the Pac-10 Conference basketball tournament; a reduction of one scholarship for the 2009-2010 and 2010-2011 academic years; a reduction by one of the number of coaches permitted to engage in off-campus recruiting activities during the summer of 2010, and a reduction in the total number of recruiting days by 20 days (from 130 to 110) for the 2010-2011 academic year.

In addition, because of Mayo’s involvement with Rodney Guillory, who under NCAA rules became a USC booster due to his role in Mayo’s recruitment, USC will vacate all wins during the 2007-2008 regular season, which was when Mayo competed while ineligible. USC will also return to the NCAA the money it received through the Pac-10 Conference for its participation in the 2008 NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Championship Tournament.

These self-imposed sanctions impact only the men’s basketball program, and do not affect any other program.

"We have very high standards for our faculty, athletic department, staff and students," said USC Senior Vice President Todd R. Dickey. "We expect and demand that everyone associated with the university live up to these standards. Nothing is more important than the integrity of this institution and its people."

Mr. Garrett said: "We believe the self-imposed sanctions are consistent with penalties imposed at other NCAA member institutions which have been cited with similar rules infractions. Although we are disappointed that rules were violated, we look forward to moving past this matter and to the future success of our men’s basketball program."

Kevin O’Neill, head men’s basketball coach for USC, added: "I think the university did the right thing in self-imposing sanctions. I respect and understand the action that was taken. Our players have risen to many challenges already this season and I am proud of what they have accomplished. I am confident that they will rise to this latest challenge.

"As their coach, I will do everything in my power to make our program better on and off the court every day," he said. "Our job as a team now is to move forward in a positive manner. We have 16 games left to play this season. I have no doubt that our players will prepare and play well in those games. While it is unfortunate that our players won’t have the chance to compete in the post-season, that just makes every game for us now a post-season game."

Mr. Garrett concluded, "While we recognize there may be additional questions about our announcement today or other alleged NCAA infractions, until the NCAA concludes its inquiries, we cannot make any further comment."

Note to reporters and editors: A video statement from USC Athletic Director Mike Garrett is available at www.usctrojans.com.


Contact: James Grant at (213) 740-6156 or grantjr@usc.edu