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NCAA hit wrong target with USC sanctions

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The NCAA has found that Pete Carroll, Reggie Bush and the USC football program cheated in the early 2000s. Bush apparently got benefits he should not have gotten. And now that Carroll and Bush and virtually everyone else who benefited from it are gone, the NCAA has punched the new players and coaching staff in the gut with over-the-top sanctions. And Carroll and Bush face no repercussions.

What could the NCAA do instead? Certainly slap USC on the wrist. Take away a few scholarships (not 30). Ban them from bowls next year (not for two years). Send a message, but don't cut the program at the knees! Instead, they should focus their venom on Carroll. Decree that any program that hires him at the collegiate level will lose 30 scholarships and won't be bowl eligible for his first two years. When he fails with the Seahawks, make it really difficult for him to return to college. Make him feel the heat.

The NCAA could also figure out how to curtail the acceptance of benefits in the future. For all of the bullshit we hear from the NCAA about the integrity of college athletics, coaches are able to come and go as they please, making millions of dollars a year. The people who run the NCAA are allowed to sit in their ivory tower making good money, sending down decrees at their whim. Yet the college athlete is supposed to toil and struggle, some of them getting a free education while most get nothing.