USC plans to appeal NCAA ruling

USC has announced that it plans to appeal at least some of the NCAA sanctions imposed on its football program.

"We acknowledge that violations occurred and we take full responsibility for them. However, we sharply disagree with many of the findings in the NCAA Committee on Infractions Report. Further, we feel the penalties imposed are too severe for the violations identified in the report," said Todd Dickey, USC's senior vice president for administration, in a press release.

Dickey added: "We will accept those sanctions we believe to be consistent with penalties imposed upon other NCAA member institutions found guilty of similar rules infractions. We are hopeful that the NCAA Infractions Appeals Committee will agree with our position on appeal, and reduce the penalties."

Dickey also said in the press release that USC has retained the Freeh Group, headed by former federal judge and ex-FBI director Louis Freeh, to help "provide us with recommendations about the best way to protect our student-athletes and their families from those who seek to violate the rules" -- i.e., "unscrupulous sports agents and sports marketers."