Saints RB Reggie Bush, who won a Heisman Trophy and a BCS National Championship at USC on his way to being the number two overall pick of the Saints, put both of those achievements in jeopardy with actions that violated his amateur status during his college career.
USC plans to appeal all or part of the violations and penalties levied against it on Thursday by the NCAA. Bush received numerous financial benefits from a marketing agent while still a player at USC in 2004, including cash, a rent-free home for his parents, transportation and more.
USC has been banned from postseason play for two seasons, stripped of 10 scholarships over the next three years, and put on four years' probation. Also, USC's 2004 BCS National Championship game, a romp over Oklahoma, and the entire 2005 season was vacated. Bush's collegiate stats over the same time period were also vacated.
Bush said in a public statement: "I have a great love for the University of Southern California, and I very much regret the turn that this matter has taken, not only for USC but for the fans and players. I am disappointed by (Thursday's) decision and disagree with the NCAA's findings."
Former Saints and USC TE Billy Miller wrote: "USC will be 11-0 and not go to a bowl! If we have done wrong then we should pay for that but be fair NCAA"