The recent uncorroborated allegation regarding Coach Floyd's $1,000 payoff to Guillory is being treated by Trojans out of the context in which it is truly embedded, instead stressing that it only has one source and questioning that source's credibility and motives.
While some of the same tired Trojan talking points are repeated in this instance as they have been a zillion times before in posts across the country, the broader context seems to escape the notice of the willfully blind Trojan Nation.
The numerous allegations implicating the basketball program stemming from the ESPN report were fully corroborated, supported with indisputably well documented evidence.
This represents a strong track record for the source making this last allegation. No doubt the allegation was put forth with the full appreciation of its unprovable nature.
Rather than responding with the typical Trojan knee-jerk reaction of denial and talking points, it behooves the Trojan Nation to take to heart yet another clue indicating the depth of corruption that permeates Heritage Hall.
This is the broader context Trojans are loathe to acknowledge. Sadly, it suggests that the fan base is as values-challenged as the corrupt administration whose win-at-all-costs imperative trumps the sportsmanship and fair play ideals college sports represent.
For years now, starting with the Yahoo! Bush story, Trojans have erected all-purpose semantic crutches that enable them to deny the obvious and preserve their insufferable penchant for bragging.
The most overused term in the Trojan lexicon is "alleged." Its legitimate use is most properly in a legal context. Yet the only pending legal action regards the Lake civil suit.
And it is precisely in this context where the continued habituated use of the term is wholly inappropriate. Bush admitted the truth of Lake's claims of inappropriate benefits with his filed motion for private arbitration.
In that public record Bush, claims the financial considerations sought by Lake already had been repaid by dint of the Michaels nondisclosure settlement (reportedly $200,000-300,000 in exchange for silence).
Still, we continue to suffer Trojan references to "Lake allegations" and doubt over the ex-con's veracity.
On this point alone, USC has sufficient grounds to self-declare Bush retroactively ineligible, forfeit the games in which he participated, vacate its only National Championship in the BCS era, and self-impose the wrist slapping sanctions it hopes the NCAA will forgivingly deign in its final report.
If Heritage Hall had an ounce of integrity, it would have followed a course along these lines.
"Hater" is another Trojan reality-escaping word. It is used to describe anyone who speaks truthfully about USC, its fan base, or the shared lack of values both display.
The "hater" is then invariably characterized as being "jealous" (meaning envious) and "biased."
If the "hater's" alma mater is known, the attack is gratuitously crowned with a football score of that school's last match with USC, which presumably cinches the Trojan argument as unassailable while providing the Trojan an opportunity to indulge his favorite activity, bragging.
Finally, the Trojan ends his emotionally imbalanced rant with an indictment against every school in the nation: "everyone does it!" The above scenario has been acted out repeatedly on team sites from coast to coast.
Is it necessary to point out that this widespread Trojan behavior itself engenders animosity? That it fosters the very hatred Trojans falsely project?
Trojan anger is misdirected. All of the seedy characters either supported or denounced by Trojans in this fiasco come to it by way of other Trojans.
It was not Notre Dame that made ex-con sports agent/marketer Michael Ornstein a bona fide USC booster. It was USC that brought Bush to him!
It was not Oklahoma that invited Guillory within the hallowed walls of Heritage Hall even as Mayo was faxing his Letter-of-Intent.
It was not UCLA that allowed Lake into the locker room or on the game day sidelines, it was Pete Carroll.
Was it Ohio State's responsibility to note that Bush was living in a $3,000/mo LA condo for two seasons while driving a new car? Rather than enabling the corruption in Heritage Hall, the Trojan Nation needs to reassess itself. Is winning and bragging worth any cost?
For too many years now the Trojan Nation has sent a single message to Heritage Hall: "Just win, Baby!"
So a useful context for viewing this recent $1,000 payoff allegation is in light of all that has preceded it. It is not a stretch of the imagination to think it could be true.
That it is not unthinkable speaks to a circumstance that has degenerated to such an extent that the phrase "loss of institutional control" is far too apt in describing USC.
Indeed, that loss appears entirely willful and supported by a fan base intent on alienating itself from America's college sports community.