Saturday, February 20, 2010
Floyd the star of USC hearings, Day 3
By Ted Miller
TEMPE, Ariz. -- After an early start, 7:30 a.m. local time, USC and the NCAA infractions committee took Day 3's second break just before 11 a.m., with a dour looking Tim Floyd, the Trojans former basketball coach, ambling outside and into the rain for an animated whisper conversation with one of his lawyers, Jim Darnell.
After two days of football, it's on to hoops, though football coach Lane Kiffin remains inside the meeting room, as he has the previous two days.
Floyd is here because ESPN’s “Outside the Lines” reported in May, 2008 that his former player, O.J. Mayo, accepted cash and gifts from Rodney Guillory, who was connected to Bill Duffy Associates Sports Management. Moreover, Floyd was alleged to have provided a $1,000 cash payment to help steer Mayo to USC, according to a Yahoo! Sports report.
USC's already admitted wrongdoing with the basketball program and sanctioned itself, including a ban on postseason participation, a reduction of scholarships and vacating all of its wins from 2007-08.
The NCAA could accept these penalties against the basketball program or decide to augment them. And they could rope them together with alleged football violations and find USC lacked institutional control -- which could mean severe penalties for both programs as well as the athletic department as a whole.
Kiffin asked reporters for an update on the day's sports news. The conversation briefly turned to Tiger Woods before he had to return to meetings. The hearing could last well into the evening as the infractions committee tries to cover all aspects of the alleged violations before heading back to Indianapolis.
The LA Times noted that coaches are often compelled to sit in during these hearings, even if they aren't a centerpiece of the investigation, because it serves as a sort of "scared straight" program.
That, and from most of the participants' expressions, bored straight.
It's likely many of these people will have endured perhaps 30 hours of detailed and sometimes ponderous discussion before heading home.
Floyd is represented by two men, Darnell and David Scheper. USC fans might find it interesting that Scheper is a Notre Dame Law School alumnus, class of 1985.
The final portion of the day's business doesn't involve USC. When all questioning is complete, the infractions committee will hash over testimony, attempt to reach a verdict and, ideally, decide who will write the final report.
It's possible that the committee won't complete its process on Saturday. They may ask for more from USC and may need additional meetings later.
On average, most reports are completed within six to 10 weeks of the infractions hearing. But that time frame could extend longer for a complicated case.
Probably fair to say this is a complicated case.