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Monday, July 14, 2008
Pac-10 Morning: USC investigations, chocolate milk and more

By ESPN.com staff
ESPN.com

Posted By ESPN.com's Ted Miller

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

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 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.

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