USC’s coming day in ‘court’ probably won’t be pleasant

USC, facing allegations of wrongdoing in football and men’s basketball, goes before NCAA Infractions Committee on Thursday. Veterans of the process say it will resemble a judicial proceeding, and USC officials could feel like they?re on the hot seat.

It wasn’t long ago that R.C. Johnson appeared before the NCAA Infractions Committee, and he doesn’t envy USC officials who this week will defend their athletic department against allegations of college rules violations.

Johnson is the athletic director at Memphis, and last year, his school was punished for major rules infractions in men’s basketball and women’s golf.

“It’s no cup of coffee,” Johnson said of his appearance. “I absolutely hated being in there.”

USC’s hearing begins Thursday, and experts say what will take place behind the closed doors in a hotel conference room in Tempe, Ariz., will be similar to a court hearing — with the NCAA enforcement staff acting as prosecutor, USC officials as defendants and the 10-member infractions committee as judge and jury.

LATimes.com
2/17/10