USC braces for an unpleasant day

The day has finally arrived.

USC officials are in Tempe, Arizona today for the start of closed-door hearings before the NCAA Infractions Committee regarding allegations of wrongdoing in both football and men’s basketball, according to Lance Pugmire and Gary Klein of the LA Times.

The University is set to defend itself against a number of allegations regarding misconduct in their athletic department, headlined by claims that star athletes in the football and men’s basketball programs received cash and gifts from aspiring agents and people in the marketing world.

The two big names linked to these allegations are current New Orleans Saints running back Reggie Bush and Memphis Grizzlies guard O.J. Mayo. Bush and his parents have been accused of accepting cash and gifts in 2004 and 2005 from sports marketers.

USC already punished itself and acknowledged that rules were broken in regards to Mayo, who spent just one season (2007-2008) playing at USC.

The University’s appearance before the NCAA Infractions Committee will be very similar to an actual court hearing, according to Pugmire and Klein, “with the NCAA enforcement staff acting as prosecutor, USC officials as defendants and the 10-member infractions committee as judge and jury.”

Seattle Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll-who spent the last nine years coaching the Trojans-is expected to be in attendance to “support the university,” according to a Seattle Seahawks spokesman.

And don’t think for one second that current USC head coach Lane Kiffin won’t be keeping a very close eye on the proceedings in Arizona.

The Trojans are the front-runners for coveted five-star offensive tackle prospect Seantrel Henderson (St. Paul, Minnesota), who has made it known he will not officially sign with USC until he knows the status of any possible sanctions that could be handed down from these hearings.

Rest assured, the entire college football world will be interested to see how this thing plays out as well.

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