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USC football: NCAA appeal hearing set for Jan. 22, Pat Haden says

December 23, 2010 |  2:35 pm

USC's hearing before the NCAA's Infractions Appeals Committee will take place Jan. 22 in Indianapolis, Athletic Director Pat Haden said Thursday.

USC is appealing sanctions handed down last summer that included a two-year bowl ban and the reduction of 30 scholarships over three years. The school was penalized, in part, because Reggie Bush and his parents were found to have accepted prohibited extra benefits from agents and would-be sports marketers. Bush's stepfather also helped set up a fledgling sports marketing venture.

Haden; USC President Max Nikias; David Roberts, the school's vice president for athletic compliance; and the university's legal representatives are expected to attend the hearing.

USC's hearing will come approximately four weeks after the second of two controversial NCAA decisions this month.

The NCAA announced Thursday that five of six Ohio State football players who violated preferential-treatment bylaws would be suspended for the first five games of the 2011 season but that all of the players would be allowed to participate in the Jan. 4 Sugar Bowl against Arkansas.

The announcement came three weeks after the NCAA determined that Auburn quarterback Cam Newton was eligible despite the fact that his father broke NCAA rules for his role in a pay-for-play scenario when his son was being recruited from a junior college. Cam Newton later won the Heisman Trophy and will lead Auburn against Oregon in the Bowl Championship Series title game on Jan. 10.

Haden said after the Newton ruling that it was at odds with how USC's beefed-up compliance department was trying to educate athletes and their parents regarding NCAA rules. He also said that school attorneys probably would review the case.

Haden said he did not know enough about the Ohio State situation to comment.

"I'm just worried about us," he said. "It's a just reminder of the constant vigilance you must have."

-- Gary Klein