NCAA hearing for USC set for Jan. 22

LOS ANGELES -- USC officials will sit before the NCAA's Infractions Appeal Committee on Jan. 22 to appeal NCAA-levied sanctions, a school spokesman confirmed Thursday.

The sanctions, which included a two-year postseason ban, a loss of 30 scholarships over the next three years and four years of probation, were levied on the school in June after a four-year investigation by the NCAA. The same day of the NCAA announcement, USC announced in a statement from outgoing president Steven Sample and senior vice president for administration Todd Dickey that it agreed with some of the punishments but planned to appeal the others.

Two weeks later, the school officially filed the appeal, asking for the scholarship and postseason-ban punishments to be halved.

USC athletic director Pat Haden, vice president for athletic compliance David Roberts and university president Max Nikias will be in attendance at the January hearing in Indianapolis, along with legal counsel for the university.

To stand a chance at earning a reversal of the original ruling, USC must prove one of three things: (1) that the evidence available in June disproved the ruling; (2) there were no rules actually broken by the university; or (3) the NCAA penalty was excessive and worthy of a reduction.

The main reason cited in the original NCAA report was a "lack of institutional control."

Pedro Moura is co-author of the USC Report for ESPNLosAngeles.com.