After years of unsuccessfully battling the NCAA in hopes of getting relief from the punitive sanctions in the Reggie Bush case, USC officials reacted positively to the news that the NCAA gradually would reduce the penalties for the Penn State football program related to the Jerry Sandusky child sex abuse scandal.
Having dealt with NCAA sanctions himself, Trojans coach Lane Kiffin knows the impact this will have on Nittany Lions coach Bill O'Brien.
"I think that's awesome," Kiffin said. "Knowing what it's like to go through and trying to manage those numbers and plan down the road as we have, now for Bill not to have to do that as much is great for him. I've had a chance to talk with him a couple times, and he's doing an awesome job there, so I'm really happy for him."
USC athletic director Pat Haden, meanwhile, focused on the future, looking for changes that would ensure consistent penalties for all schools.
"Like the rest of country, we have just learned of the NCAA's actions regarding the restoration of some of Penn State's scholarships," Haden said in a statement released on USC's website. "As you know, the NCAA is currently engaged in the process of evaluating and potentially reforming its governance structure. We look forward to having a positive impact on that process.
"We also are hopeful that the NCAA's recently-enacted enforcement and penalty reforms will result in a consistent and fair enforcement and penalty process for all its institutions. USC will continue to work cooperatively with the NCAA towards that goal."
The scholarship reduction penalties for USC will expire with the signing of the class of 2014 next February, when the Trojans are limited to 15 new signees. The 2014 season will also be the final year of the 75-man roster limit imposed on USC.