Is USC Looking Down The Barrel Of an NCAA Gun?

Stacey MicklesCorrespondent IIJune 2, 2009

LOS ANGELES, CA - OCTOBER 04:  Pete Carroll head coach of the USC Trojans during the game against the Oregon Ducks on October 4, 2008 at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum in Los Angeles, California.  (Photo by Robert Laberge/Getty Images)

So, the NCAA is finally going to investigate the USC Trojans; and a cheer was heard all the way from South Bend, IN, to Tuscaloosa, AL.

The NCAA has never been accused of being fair and balanced when it comes to investigating certain schools, but in this case they had no choice.

The bodies—so to speak—are starting to pile up on the USC campus and they are starting to stink so bad that the NCAA had no choice but to investigate the Trojans.

The probe is going to look into whether or not former basketball player O.J. Mayo and Heisman Trophy winner Reggie Bush were being paid or receiving gifts and other benefits.

San Diego businessman Michael Michaels made claims back in 2006 that he and Bush’s parents had an agreement which allowed them to stay in his $750,000 house in San Diego, in exchange for getting Bush to sign with him, a claim which they deny.

The Michaels rumor has been circulating around for years, but the story seemly went away.

Mayo, who now plays for the Memphis Grizzles, was also accused of receiving gifts from L.A. event promoter Rodney Guillory before and after he began attending USC on the behalf of Bill Duffy Associates Sports Management.

Mayo cut ties to the agency back in 2008 and signed with another agent.

SEC fans—particularly Alabama fans—have been raising questions for years over why teams like USC have been allowed to run amuck with accusations about their program hanging over their head, while never being looked at by the NCAA and while their program and other schools continue to be nailed with sanctions.

Like Alabama, the Trojans are a cash cow. Their football program brings in millions of dollars not only to them, but the PAC-10 and the rest of the NCAA.

They have also been the darlings of  sports news media outlets like ESPN, who just  a few years ago did a series on SC asking if the team they fielded with Reggie Bush and Matt Leinart is one of the greatest, if not the greatest college football team of all time.

The NCAA tried to ignore the problem as long as they could, but with allegations seemly coming from everywhere, they could no longer ignore what was going on in Southern California.

The word that is being thrown around by the NCAA is lack of institutional control, which if found to be true, could mean trouble for SC. That is a serious allegation by the NCAA meaning that the school and its coaches had no control over their programs and allow these things to happen.

That same allegation was found to be true in the Alabama case and the NCAA nearly gave them the Death Penalty with harsh sanctions that the school is just now recovering from.

But in the Crimson Tide’s case, that was just one sport.

The NCAA may come down harder on SC since there are two sports involved, which could ruin both sports for years to come and a lot of college football and basketball fans are saying about time.