The four-year NCAA sanctions imposed in 2010 on USC football, men’s basketball and women’s tennis are officially over.
USC Athletic Director Pat Haden commented on the sanctions on June 11:
I want to personally thank our players, coaches, staff and athletic compliance office for the amazing attitude and performance they have exhibited these past four years.
Today is a significant day for USC Athletics. That is because yesterday was the final day of the NCAA’s four-year probation imposed on our football, men’s basketball and women’s tennis teams.
These past four years have been trying ones for those programs as they navigated many issues related to the NCAA sanctions. Our football team, in particular, was hit with severe penalties that created unusual hardships for our players, coaches, staff and fans. Despite those penalties, during the past four seasons, our football team produced a pair of 10-win seasons, our men’s basketball team had a 19-win season with a trip to the NCAA tournament and our women’s tennis team twice won the Pac-12 championship while advancing to the NCAA tourney all four years. Indications point to promising futures for each program, as each has recruited extremely well.
All of us in the USC athletic department want to extend our sincere appreciation to our fans and donors for their continued support during our probation years. We know it has not been easy for them, but the unwavering support of the Trojan Family is what makes USC the special place it is. No program in the country could have endured the past four years the way USC has; the Trojan Family has been a key part of that. Not only have all of our teams excelled on the field of play more often than not these past four years, but we have been able to construct state-of-the-art facilities for them, including the McKay Center, Uytengsu Aquatics Center, Merle Norman Stadium and a renovated Heritage Hall.
Although our probation has ended, challenges remain because of the lingering effects of the sanctions. And we also must remain diligent when it comes to rules compliance. As a reminder, we have another year remaining in the five-year window of repeat violator status; another major violation could bring even more severe hardships.
Moving forward, we are revising policies now that some limitations imposed on us by the NCAA are lifted, in particular those regarding public access at football and men’s basketball games, practices and travel. But we can only do so if there is a continued vigilance and compliance with NCAA rules by all parties. The NCAA-imposed access restrictions were certainly challenging for us and our fans, but the policies we developed to deal with those restrictions have become models with our peers throughout the country.
Again, I want to personally thank our players, coaches, staff and athletic compliance office for the amazing attitude and performance they have exhibited these past four years, and thank our fans for the overwhelming support we needed to get through these difficult times. As we look forward to an incredibly bright future in USC Athletics, let us all continue to Fight On!