It’s been a wild week of rumors for USC.
It’s not uncommon for rumors to swirl in the days following an unsuccessful season but I don’t think I’ve ever seen anything like this.
Of course, a lot of it is fueled by social media where one person’s speculation can quickly turn into a rapidly spreading rumor. Especially on Twitter.
Over the last couple of days I’ve been the recipient of some credible information about several rumors so I can confirm some and dispel others. Buckle in…
First the quick hitters.
I’ll start with the bad news. The Sun Bowl in El Paso is a lock. It’s bad news because nobody really wants to go to El Paso for New Year’s. But I’ll be there so book your tickets and join me! Also, there is no truth to the rumors that the team might vote to veto the game. I was told there’s actually a good chance the team would veto the game if they could but Haden won’t allow it. Sounds like there’s a lot of apathy after the disappointing season.
This one is new and I haven’t seen it circulating anywhere yet but I’ve been told that Monte Kiffin is “gone.” The buyout has been negotiated for weeks. If this is true I don’t know how the heck USC kept a lid on it. Especially since you expect they’d be in the midst of a search for his replacement. The fact that this hasn’t been leaked yet gives me reason to question it but the sources seem reliable.
There have been rumors and denials that USC has been in contact with Tedford to become USC’s Offensive Coordinator. This rumor appears to be true but it’s very preliminary. Nothing is imminent here. Since Kiffin probably won’t give up play calling duties unless Haden pries them away from him my guess is that Tedford would come to USC as much to be a mentor as to be OC. Tedford has been a mentor to Kiffin for years but I don’t see what Tedford could gain from a move like this.
As for Lane Kiffin, his job is safe. I haven’t heard any real rumors about him getting fired but I know a lot of USC fans are calling for his head. It’s not going to happen. Not only has Haden thrown his full support behind Kiffin but he’s put together a great recruiting class that USC probably doesn’t want to jeopardize by firing Kiffin.
Finally the big one. If you aren’t up to date on the recent developments in Todd McNair’s defamation lawsuit against the NCAA you should read this. In a nutshell, the judge in that case basically said that the NCAA had a reckless disregard for the truth, wanted to stick it to McNair (and by deduction USC) so the NCAA manipulated the evidence to justify the sanctions they wanted to levy. The judge said the NCAA displayed malice, ill will, hatred and a bunch of other things you don’t want coming from a sanctioning body that acts as both judge and jury. The funny thing is that even the NCAA’s contrived infractions don’t justify the crushing sanctions levied against USC.
So the result of this is that the judge in the McNair trial is going to unseal all the evidence after giving the NCAA an opportunity to appeal. Well this is music to USC’s ears. I have heard from four different sources now that USC is poised to take action against the NCAA.
Full disclosure is important before I go any further. While there are several people corroborating the following either in part or in whole, there is another person who says none of it is true. My strongest sources who stand behind the following information are tied to the athletic department. However, I’ve talked to another person with close ties to attorneys representing USC and the Board of Trustees. He says he has heard nothing to substantiate what you are about to read. So take this all with an appropriately sized grain of salt. We are dealing with rumors here. A writer for the Reign of Troy blog also cites a source who states what you are about to read is untrue.
Nothing is official until it comes straight from USC. That goes for everything you’ve already read in this blog and everything you’re about to read. So here it goes…
I received an email from someone with very close ties to the athletic department and quoting sources within the athletic department. It states that USC is going to attack the NCAA as mercilessly as they attacked USC. USC is going to sue to get everything back that was taken away including immediate restoration of scholarships, vacated victories, vacated titles (assuming BCS title and 2011 Pac-12 South championship) and a vault full of money for damages, defamation, lost revenues, etc. To put it simply, USC plans to take the NCAA out to the shed. They also want Reggie’s Heisman reinstated but that’s not an NCAA decision. And I imagine all this will have the effect of restoring Pete Carroll’s reputation and legacy, which have been unfairly tarnished.
The email also said that USC President C. L. Max Nikias is concerned about the effects the sanctions have had on USC’s image and reputation so he is fully supporting the legal action against the NCAA.
There is no specific timeline for any of this. But as soon as the documents are unsealed (if they are unsealed) USC is ready to unleash the wrath of hell upon the NCAA.
Another source not only corroborated this but said that USC’s Board of Trustees voted unanimously last week to sue the NCAA and that USC will spare no expense in going after the NCAA and that Haden instructed Lane to “go after 25 guys.” (25 allowed scholarships rather than sanction-limited 15 scholarships.) I have to assume this means have 25 ready and willing to sign if we get the sanctions lifted. It doesn’t mean Kiffin should sign 25 guys in defiance of the sanctions.
Like I said, these are leaks that have been shared with me and corroborated by others who have heard the same or similar leaks. It’s worth noting that most of my information is coming from ties to the athletic department and they are not immune to rumors – it’s possible these are just rumors circulating through the department. Based on the language used in the email I received I doubt this is just a rumor but anything is possible. And as I said, the one person I spoke to with high level ties in other departments tells me that none of the rumors about USC suing the NCAA are true. Yet.
I don’t get paid to do this but I invested a lot of time on this and did my best to verify the information that was shared with me. No, I did not attempt to get USC to verify any of this. I’m not a journalist so I doubt anyone in the know would talk to me and if they did I doubt they would be prepared to confirm anything. Yet.
Sit tight friends. This could get interesting!