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Thursday, February 18, 2010
'No comment' sums up Day 1 of USC vs. NCAA

By ESPN.com staff
ESPN.com

TEMPE, Ariz. -- They shuffled by at 5:30 p.m. local time, sharing a message for those who might wonder how things went during USC's meeting with the NCAA infractions committee on Thursday.

"No comment."

Said USC athletic director Mike Garrett, "I can say hello. I can say goodbye."

Pac-10 commissioner Larry Scott was amused by a reporter's attempt to chat about how things might be going for USC as it defended itself against alleged NCAA rules violations for its football and basketball teams. "Thanks for asking," he said.

USC president Steven B. Sample enjoyed a cookie and used a pregnant pause to support his quip that he wasn't even going to say no comment.

The silence wasn't terribly surprising.

"We have been instructed by the chair of the proceedings not to discuss the proceedings," USC spokesperson James Grant said.

That would be former Miami athletic director Paul Dee, who slipped by before a reporter collecting various forms of "no comment" could acquire his.

So what can we say about Day 1 of USC's hearing, which will continue Friday and Saturday?

Former USC coach Pete Carroll was in attendance. He said he was leaving Thursday night and headed to LA for a charity event.

That, paired with the apparent absence of former Trojans basketball coach Tim Floyd as well as the presence of running backs coach Todd McNair, would suggest strongly that football was the focus of the first day. And that Carroll and McNair answered question about their knowledge of extra benefits former running back Reggie Bush allegedly received from a pair of would-be agents, among other things.

New football coach Lane Kiffin, sporting an impressive suit that Carroll took a moment to admire, also was on hand. He provided the day's best -- only -- analysis when he called the interaction inside the meeting "interesting" but the expressions of most folks' faces when they left the meeting room suggested that even James Cameron couldn't make the proceedings lively.

The big question for Day 2?

Will Floyd and the basketball program take the stage? Or will football still lead the agenda?

According to a source with knowledge of the proceedings.

"No comment."