Pac-10 Morning: USC investigations, chocolate milk and more

July, 14, 2008
7/14/08
10:33
AM ET

Posted By ESPN.com's Ted Miller

Sure everyone had a weekend for the ages... For your consideration:

  • The LA Times asks the NCAA to explain -- in a general sense, without case particulars of course -- why it's taking so long to get a resolution in the Reggie Bush/USC case ... and, of course, the story comes with some Mayo. Many who don't regularly bellow "Fight on!" would love to see USC go down in flames, or at least believe the athletic program deserves something more than a slap on the wrist. This paragraph touches on a simple but pertinent point:

The Bush and Mayo cases epitomize an increasingly common situation, the NCAA chasing after marketers, financial consultants and runners, the shadowy figures who represent sports agents. This isn't like a coach handing over cash. These people operate on the fringe of college sports, where NCAA investigators have no subpoena power and no legal recourse against those who might lie.

USC's defense could be: plausible deniability. It could lean on the idea that this was not a "pay for play" scheme, and that those providing the extra benefits didn't represent the university or its interests.

However, the Times pointed out that escape won't necessarily be that easy:

Even if no one at USC provided extra benefits, the school could face penalties if investigators find a "lack of institutional control." The definition of institutional control is not as cut-and-dried as it is with other violations. Price talks about needing to "weigh the circumstances."

The package also includes a story on agent runners and an overview of the Bush/Mayo cases.

  • This is sad. Oregon redshirt freshman Todd Doxey, a 19-year-old safety, drowned Sunday on the McKenzie River. Here's something from Rob Moseley's blog that includes a statement from the school.
  • It didn't get them to a bowl game last year but Washington is still drinking its chocolate milk.
  • But it's not all chocolate milk and cake for the Huskies. The Seattle P-I reports on the sweat part of the UW off-season. This stood out:

This offseason, for example, the theme is "fourth quarter" and Greener's work is geared toward making sure the players aren't fatigued late in games. The Huskies yielded 139 fourth-quarter points last season -- an average of 10.7 per game.

  • Arizona State beat out UCLA, Washington and Washington State for a tight end recruit.
  • A UCLA linebacker is hurting but Josh Edwards should be ready for preseason camp, according to the LA Daily News.
  • Heisman Pundit looks at the 10 games that will be most telling in the Heisman race.
  • This story is about Hawaii's mindblowing travel expenses, but my guess is more than a few programs are feeling the bite of high travel prices, particularly on the spacious West Coast. It's certainly a lot more pricey to travel in the Pac-10 than the SEC.
  • Some of you might be wondering what's going on with former California and Washington coach Keith Gilbertson... here's an update.
  • Dance, Trojans! Dance! And shout, too.... A USC recruiting ritual on YouTube.

I dance like that after 32 ounces of coffee....

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