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During the period of our NCAA probation we won't wake up each morning with a "woe is me" attitude as a result of the sanctions. I have failed if I cannot create a positive, upbeat environment that cultivates success in spite of the sanctions.
We must have a culture of compliance at the beginning, middle and end of our definition of success. We plan to have the best, most proactive and robust compliance department in the country. I am not so naive as to expect we will not have compliance issues going forward. We will. But we will face them with honesty and a determination to do even better to prevent the next compliance issue. We must be vigilant 24/7 while allowing our athletes to enjoy being 18- to 21-year-olds on a college campus.
Mike Garrett was a sensational athletic director. His 17-year body of work was about as good as it gets. His combination of supporting an infrastructure that was as successful at winning as it was at fundraising is unprecedented. More importantly, he led a program that cared about its student-athletes in a most fundamental way. Appropriately, the bar has been set high.
I will make mistakes, and I will make decisions with which you will disagree. I will fess up to my mistakes, explain my decisions, and work as hard and as smart as I can to make all of us proud of USC.