Larry Scott, commissioner of the Pacific 12 Conference, has quickly gained a reputation for making bold moves.
And bold statements too.
That was evident again Wednesday when Scott reflected on a Yahoo! Sports report detailing how a now-imprisoned University of Miami booster allegedly provided impermissible benefits to more than 70 Hurricanes athletes from 2002 to 2010.
Paul Dee was Miami’s athletic director from 1993 to 2008. Last year, he was chairman of the NCAA’s Committee on Infractions, overseeing USC’s receiving sanctions that ranked among the most severe in college sports history.
In a telephone interview, Scott was asked whether he agreed with national college football columnists who had described Dee as hypocritical.
“If the allegations prove true,” he said, “the words irony and hypocrisy don’t seem to go far enough.”
Scott said that, if allegations prove true, the Yahoo Sports! story was “a real indictment of some of the problems that exist in college sports and college football and underscores the need for dramatic reform in rules, culture and the enforcement process.”
An advocate for change, he noted: “I like considering bold, new ideas in terms of reform. If I worry about anything, it’s that the reform effort moves too slowly and does not go far enough.”
Scott emphasized he was not advocating for the NCAA to move the enforcement and penalty process outside the organization. But he endorses considering it.
“I think we need to step back and consider bold new ideas, including the possibility of bringing in outside resources,” he said.
Dee raised the ire of USC administrators and fans in June 2010 when he said high-profile players “demand high-profile compliance,” while announcing the sanctions.
On Wednesday, former USC center Ryan Kalil, a 2006 All-American who plays for the Carolina Panthers, posted the quote on his Twitter feed. In a telephone interview, Cincinnati Bengals linebacker Keith Rivers, an All-American at USC in 2007, referenced the same quote.
“It’s unfortunate that he was so harsh on SC when his school was doing way more than what you found USC to be guilty of,” Rivers said.
USC Coach Lane Kiffin refrained from weighing in on the Miami situation. When asked for a short response to the scandal, he said: “It would take me a lot more than one or two words.”
Ed Orgeron, USC’s defensive line coach, was on the staff at Miami from 1988-1992.
“It’s been a long time since I’ve been there,” he said. “I just feel bad for the new coach and the staff.”
Middle linebacker Chris Galippo is nursing a shoulder sprain but Kiffin said he but could participate in Sunday’s scrimmage…. Freshman receiver Marqise Lee was absent from the morning practice because of a family emergency, Kiffin said. Lee returned for the evening workout and “was the star of the practice by far."… Quarterback Matt Barkley looked sharp but, for the second time in five days, cornerback Nickell Robey intercepted one of his passes returned it for a touchdown.