USC football: It’s official, BCS strips Trojans of 2004 title


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The Bowl Championship Series on Monday officially stripped USC of its 2004 championship as a result of major infractions involving star running back Reggie Bush.

The BCS title will be vacated for that season. The Associated Press previously announced USC would remain its 2004 champion.


‘The BCS alerted us today that their presidents have voted to vacate USC’s 2005 BCS Championship Game victory,’ USC Athletic Director Pat Haden said in a statement. ‘This was not an unexpected outcome. We will comply with all requirements mandated by the result of this BCS vote.’

The ruling came less than two weeks after the NCAA denied USC’s appeal to have some of the sanctions reduced. The Trojans were slapped with a two-year ban on postseason play and the loss of 30 scholarships.

USC, however, effectively forfeited its 2004 title last year when it admitted Bush was an ineligible player during the Trojans’ run to the title. USC claimed the crystal trophy with a 55-19 victory over Oklahoma in the 2005 Orange Bowl. The BCS was only waiting for the appeal process to be completed. USC would have lost its title even if the NCAA had ruled in the school’s favor because the Trojans’ appeal was asking only for the sanctions to be reduced.

The official ruling came after a meeting of the NCAA’s Presidential Oversight Committee.

‘The BCS arrangement crowns a national champion, and the BCS games are showcase events for postseason football,’ BCS Executive Director Bill Hancock said in a statement. ‘One of the best ways of ensuring that they remain so is for us to foster full compliance with NCAA rules. Accordingly, in keeping with the NCAA’s recent action, USC’s appearances are being vacated.

‘This action reflects the scope of the BCS arrangement and is consistent with the NCAA’s approach when it subsequently discovers infractions by institutions whose teams have played in NCAA championship events.’

The title trophy is awarded by the American Football Coaches Assn. USC will lose 10 scholarships a year for the next three years and will be bowl ineligible next year and not allowed to compete for the first Pac-12 championship.


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-- Chris Dufresne