When news of the Miami scandal broke, USC fans immediately connected former athletic director Paul Dee's name to the man who chaired the NCAA Committee on Infractions hearing for the Reggie Bush case.
And they had a completely rational thought: How could Dee have any credibility as the judge of whether an athletic program is operating within the rules, seeing that his was allegedly awash in wrong-doing? Those USC fans then wondered -- again, rationally -- if there would be a way for USC to make another run at getting its sanctions reduced.
While there were many whispers about some sort of new, special-case appeal, it appears that the Trojans will not take action. The school released a statement from president C. L. Max Nikias:
"I have determined that the university's mission is best served by moving forward at this time, without pursuing further redress ... This decision followed an extensive review of all of our options and after consultation with many sources. We ask that the Trojan Family offer its utmost support to the student-athletes and coaches of the Trojan football team, confident that USC's commitment to the highest level of excellence in academics and athletics will not waver in the coming years."
Some Trojans fans will be angry with this, and not unreasonably. It's through-the-looking-glass unfair that Dee led the assault on USC, which concluded with what some consider unjustifiably harsh penalties, a position most familiar with the case held well before Dee was unmasked.
But word on the street is there was an earnest effort made by USC administrators to evaluate options. This decision was not arrived at without a lot of thought about potential outcomes.
With the NCAA assessing no penalties against coach Lane Kiffin today in connection to his year at Tennessee, the Trojans finally know where they stand going forward: another year out of the postseason, 30 scholarships docked over the next three years.
The message from Nikias is really the only thing USC fans can do: move on.
Oh, and they can root for former assistant coach Todd McNair to take the NCAA to the cleaners in his lawsuit.