SALT LAKE CITY — While insisting it was difficult to compare USC's NCAA sanctions with the Penn State and Miami cases, Pac-12 commissioner Larry Scott said the penalties levied against the Trojans were excessive and raise concerns about the NCAA's compliance process.
"From all the things I've seen the four years I've been here I think the way USC was treated was unduly harsh," Scott said Thursday before the UCLA-Utah game.
The NCAA last week rejected an appeal by USC athletic director Pat Haden that the governing body restore some of the scholarships the NCAA stripped as part of the sanctions resulting from the Reggie Bush case.
Haden's appeal came in the wake of an NCAA decision to restore five scholarships to Penn State in each of the next three academic years after the NCAA said the Big Ten school had shown progress in implementing reforms following the Jerry Sandusky scandal.
The NCAA Committee on Infractions in June 2010 hit USC with a two-year bowl ban and a reduction of 10 football scholarships annually for three years. The Trojans were also forced to forfeit two victories from the 2004 season and all wins from the 2005 campaign.
Scott joined a growing number of coaches, administrators and commissioners in criticizing the NCAA's enforcement process for a lack of uniformity and consistency.
"First let me start by staying I do think in the total context of what I've seen in the four years I've been here I think USC was very harshly penalized and it's one of the things that's concerned me about the enforcement process is making sure schools are treated fairly, that precedent is respected and things like that," Scott said.
"And I've got some concerns that it doesn't always appear to the members like things are fair and even handed. So I've got concerns about that.
"The whole Penn State thing was handled by a completely separate process, didn't even go through the normal compliance process. So I think it is difficult to draw comparisons and I'm not privy to the exact discussions that the board went through but it's something that the whole enforcement process, the way that penalties are doled out, looking at the way often times innocent student athletes are effected are all areas of concern but more in a going forward basis not looking back."