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T.J. Simers: Miami has problems, but USC still cheated

August 18, 2011 |  9:29 am

This just in: USC is still guilty.

They were caught, they were cheaters and they couldn’t go to a bowl game last season, and won’t go again this season.

Get over it.

It has nothing to do with the University of Miami’s problems other than the fact that the joker who worked as the Hurricanes' former athletic director provides an immediate guffaw.

And no one needs a good guffaw like the USC football fan who just can’t seem to get past the fact his football program was tagged for cheating.

Dee is now being labeled a “hypocrite" for lecturing USC on its wrongdoings as chairman of the NCAA’s Infractions Committee while serving as Miami AD, but anyone who participates in name-calling from USC is one as well.

Dee’s involvement with USC is a nice piece of trivia, but USC’s problems were its own, and no matter who sat as chairman, the school was due for a spanking.

USC has maintained from the start that the NCAA was too heavy-handed, and with developments at Ohio State and Miami, it’s an argument that won’t die any time soon.

But the NCAA didn’t know what was taking place at Ohio State and Miami at the time it dealt with USC -- Dee failing to mention it to the NCAA -- and so it treated USC’s problems as if they were the very worst thing going on in college football.

No one likes to be punished; USC fans the worst of all.

Mike1 But this has been good for USC, Pete Carroll no longer walking on water at the end of his run and Athletic Director Mike Garrett replaced by Pat Haden.

It also provided some USC fans with a tailgating break, their weekends again their own as the Trojans play their practice games.

And the practice games have allowed Lane Kiffin to develop without the overbearing pressure of winning every quarter every Saturday. He’s been given time to find his place in college football again and become a respected head coach, and he might really be a good one.

Who knows, but I’m not sure he would have been allowed to mature if stuck in the college spotlight with Garrett looking over his shoulder. He’s been given two years to ready USC's program for another championship run without having to explain why it fell short of the big bowl game to end up in El Paso or some other outpost.

Many USC fans have never gotten past the point where they had it all, blaming the NCAA for ruining their party.

Garrett said it best on behalf of all Trojans a few hours after the NCAA had lowered the boom on USC: “... Nothing but a lot of envy ... hey wish they were all Trojans.’’

Later new AD Haden would say over and over again in appeal that USC had made a great case for leniency, but that comment from Garrett had to hang heavy in the air with the NCAA.

It was funny reading some of the comments below many of the stories detailing Miami’s problems Wednesday, and Dee’s involvement as AD.

The best was this one: “So can someone explain to me again why USC is in trouble?’’

The implication was obvious; look what USC did in comparison to Miami.

I’m sure there are prisons full with similar comments, and while I’m not suggesting that's where we send emailers, I would guess there are criminals wondering why they’re doing 20 years when the guy in the next cell obviously has done far worse.


Miami could take a major NCAA hit

Pac 12's Larry Scott, those connected to USC, react to Miami report

How do the allegations against Miami affect former AD Paul Dee?

Jailed booster aided Hurricanes

-- T.J. Simers

Top photo: USC running back Reggie Bush, left, is congratulated by quarterback Matt Leinart after scoring a touchdown against Fresno State in 2005. Bush was at the center of an NCAA investigation that led to sanctions being imposed on the USC football program. Credit: Wally Skalij / Los Angeles Times. Right photo: Former USC Athletic Director Mike Garrett poses in front of his Heisman Trophy  at USC's Heritage Hall. Credit: Luis Sinco / Los Angeles Times