The University of Southern Cal athletics department renamed its men's soccer program "men's football" today in a move it expects will enable its football team now called "American football" to avoid any NCAA punishment.
"Check and mate, NCAA," laughed USC athletic director Mike Garrett, announcing the new terms in a press conference this morning. "Of course, it isn't all bad news. Per the conditions laid out by the NCAA, our soccer team is going to miss two bowl games. Oh, wait! Soccer er, I mean football doesn't have bowl games. Boom!"
Garrett then high-fived USC American football coach Lane Kiffin.
Incoming NCAA president Mark Emmert said that USC's semantics likely will work. "What can we do? They found a loophole and exploited it," said Emmert. "Of course, we informed them of the loophole. We can't have major programs like USC American football getting punished. It's how we've done it for years. No one wants us to suspend the entire Top 25 and half the NCAA Tournament field."
In addition to missing out on bowl games, USC's soccer program will lose scholarships and also its wins from the 2004 season.
"This is fantastic news," said USC football coach Steve Ryan. "I could honestly give a crap about our program. It's only a club team anyway. The only thing that makes my job worth it is that I get season tickets to USC football. The last thing I want is to be stuck with tickets for some crap American football team."