It is hard to imagine anyone being happier than Rick Neuheisel when the USC football sanctions were announced yesterday.
UCLA and USC are rivals in everything including recruiting. The Los Angeles/Southern California area is one of the richest and deepest pools of high school talent in the country.
Due to recent success, the Trojans have had the advantage in recruiting. However, this should all change with the sanctions.
There is no debating the fact that Lane Kiffin and Ed Orgeron are great recruiters, but Rick Neuheisel is no slouch and has vowed to make UCLA relevant again in Los Angeles.
There are two types of recruits: the die-hard athletes that have been raised to like USC or UCLA and to hate the other and the recruits that are just looking to play football. The die-hards will still go to USC because it is all they have dreamed of and they want to be a Trojan no matter what the consequences may be.
The other type of recruit, the one just looking to play football, will now be more likely to choose UCLA. Not only can these athletes not play in bowl games for the next two years if they go to USC, but USC does not have the scholarships available to offer.
For the next three years USC will have 10 less scholarships to offer, meaning that there will be more players that USC can’t even offer scholarships to; players that UCLA will now have the inside track on.
The other eight schools in the Pac-10 will all benefit from USC’s sanctions, but UCLA will have a recruiting advantage that can help propel them to their first 10-win season since 2005.