The University of Southern California today announced severe sanctions against its field hockey program in light of several violations committed by the school's football program.
"The benefits that were given to Reggie Bush during his time here and the car that Joe McKnight has been allowed to use, among other violations, will not stand here at USC," said USC athletics director Michael Garrett. "We take these things very seriously. As such, our women's field hockey program is losing three scholarships and may not participate in the Pac-10 tournament."
The field hockey team will, however, be allowed to participate in the NCAA Tournament if it receives a bid.
"It's an olive branch to them to improve their behavior," said Garrett. "No one on the football team wants those girls to miss out on a field hockey title, I'm sure of it."
Football coach Pete Carroll said he was unaware of the punishment.
"I had no idea we had a field hockey team," said Carroll. "Huh. That's the one where the girls with the short skirts bend over, right? Nice."
Garrett says he thinks his quick action will show the NCAA that the school's football programs is playing within the rules. "This is just the first step, too," he said. "If anything more happens, then we hit women's swimming. Before long it gets really serious and we go after a men's sport. Like tennis. Not one of the real ones, of course. But still."
A source within the NCAA's compliance office says USC has taken the necessary steps.
"They didn't even have to do this," he said. "They're one of the top football programs. They should know that we're never going to punish a program at that level. What's actually more concerning is that they even brought attention to their indiscretions this way. That's what we might punish them for. We prefer programs just pretend everything is on the up-and-up."