Masochist USC Punishes Self For Mayo ShenanigansS

Ah, January, when the talk turns from NCAA football sanctions to NCAA basketball sanctions. First up: USC. It's as predictable as the changing of the seasons.

The 10-4 Trojans have been a surprise this year, and could do well in a weaker Pac-10. Doesn't matter. They're banned from the postseason. And lose a scholarship this year and next. And have to vacate their wins from 2007-08, including money earned by making the NCAA tourney.

That's what happens when you recruit O.J. Mayo through Rodney Guillory, who did so much on the university's behalf that he became classified as a booster. That makes the money and gifts Guillory gave Mayo quite illegal.

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," USC Athletic Director Mike Garrett said in a statement. "When we've done something wrong, we have an obligation to do something about it and that is exactly what we are doing here."

Yes, the sanctions are self-imposed. And despite what Garrett says about doing the right thing, this usually means "the NCAA's up our asses and are likely to come down hard, so let's give ourselves a slap on the wrist and hope they leave it at that."

USC Basketball Imposes Major Sanctions [LA Times]