USC’s stripped 2004 ti­tle kept quiet by most

Austin American-Statesman - - SPORTS - By Chris Dufresne

Where were you this sum­mer when USC foot­ball was stripped of its 2004 Bowl Cham­pi­onship Se­ries ti­tle?

Ac­tu­ally, it wasn’t an­nounced by the BCS, re­ported in news­pa­pers or touted on ESPN’s crawl. It slipped through the cracks — sort of like Reg­gie Bush into the line of scrim­mage — on June 25.

That was the day USC an­nounced it was ap­peal­ing parts of ma­jor sanc­tions levied by the NCAA ear­lier in the month.

USC ef­fec­tively for­feited the BCS ti­tle when it ac­cepted that Bush was in­el­i­gi­ble when he par­tic­i­pated in USC’s 55-19 ti­tle-game win over Ok­la­homa.

USA To­day re por t e d Wed­nes­day that USC foot­ball’s 2004 BCS ti­tle would be va­cated “if” USC loses its ap­peal with the NCAA for ma­jor sanc­tions.

In re­al­ity, though, it’s a mat­ter of when, not if.

BCS ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor Bill Han­cock said at Big 12 me­dia days this week that USC’s ti­tle, if va­cated, would not be awarded to an­other team — Ok­la­homa, Auburn or Utah.

What he couldn’t say was that USC ac­tu­ally va­cated the cham­pi­onship a month ago.

Reached later, Han­cock said the BCS would not act on USC un­til its ap­peal process is com­plete, which could take months.

USC is ap­peal­ing to re­duce a two-year bowl ban to one and get back half of the 30 schol­ar­ships the NCAA has taken away. The As­so­ci­ated Press has al­ready an­nounced that USC will keep its tro­phy from the 2004 sea­son.

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