Shortly after the NCAA's sanctions became public at noon Thursday, USC released a statement sayingthe university would appeal the ruling because the penalties were "too severe" in relation to the alleged infractions.
Hours later, though, USC released something else that may be a lot more telling — its 169-page initial response to the NCAA, submitted back in December 2009. USC released the report on its official website around 4 p.m., prefacing it with just one single sentence: "Today, USC posted its original response (redacted to eliminate identifiers) to the allegations promulgated in the fall of 2009 by the NCAA regarding alleged rules violations."
The report details USC's case down to the T, specifying many individual interactions between players and marketers that appear questionably permissible at best and addressing nearly every issue that came up in today's NCAA report — as well as, perhaps most importantly, admitting wrongdoing.
And within the release comes this, which vibes directly with what coach Lane Kiffin said today regarding the forthcoming appeal: "While we agree that both [former running back Reggie Bush] and (former basketball guard O.J. Mayo) accepted certain benefits and subsequently competed while ineligible, we do not accept the allegations of impermissible benefits as true across the board."
It doesn't vibe, however, with former coach Pete Carroll's comments released today via YouTube. In the video, Carroll denied knowledge of the findings that appeared to have been sent to the NCAA by USC when Carroll was still in charge with the Trojans: "The primary issue throughout the process was, 'Did the university know?' The university didn't know. We didn't know. We were not aware of any of these findings. "
The full release is available here.