LOS ANGELES (CBS/AP) — The Bowl Championship Series has stripped Southern California of its 2004 title and will leave that season without a BCS champion. The announcement Monday is no surprise.
BCS officials had said USC was in danger of having its championship vacated after the Trojans were hit with heavy NCAA sanctions last year for rules violations committed during the 2004 and 2005 seasons.
USC appealed the sanctions, which included a two-year ban from postseason play and a loss of 30 scholarships over three seasons, and the BCS waited until the NCAA ruled on the appeal to make a decision about its championship.
The NCAA denied USC’s appeal on May 26.
“The BCS arrangement crowns a national champion, and the BCS games are showcase events for post-season football,” according to BCS executive director Bill Hancock. “One of the best ways of ensuring that they remain so is for us to foster full compliance with NCAA rules. Accordingly, in keeping with the NCAA’s recent action, USC’s appearances are being vacated.”
“This action reflects the scope of the BCS arrangement and is consistent with the NCAA’s approach when it subsequently discovers infractions by institutions whose teams have played in NCAA championship events,” he said.
USC Athletic Director Pat Haden said the BCS decision was anticipated.
“The BCS alerted us today that their presidents have voted to vacate USC’s 2005 BCS Championship victory,” Haden said.
“This was not an unexpected outcome. We will comply with all requirements mandated by the result of this
BCS vote,” he said.
USC beat Oklahoma 55-19 in the 2005 Orange Bowl to cap its perfect championship season.
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