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USC's meeting with infractions committee ends

Results probably won't be announced for six to 10 weeks. Tim Floyd gets to have his say.

February 21, 2010|By Gary Klein

Reporting from Tempe, Ariz. — It took nearly four years to investigate.

The hearing to go through the allegations and hear testimony lasted three long days.

Now, the real waiting -- and the anxiety -- begins.

It could be anywhere from six to 10 weeks before USC is informed of the outcome of its hearing before the NCAA Committee on Infractions, which concluded Saturday.

Still, USC representatives were happy to be leaving the desert and the hotel ballroom that served as their courtroom.

"Glad it's over," USC Athletic Director Mike Garrett said as he walked toward an elevator.

David Price, the NCAA's vice president of enforcement services, said the hearing was "the longest in my 11 years."

It probably seemed even longer for USC's contingent, which returns to Los Angeles after being questioned about allegations that could possibly lead to sanctions for lack of institutional control.

Garrett and other USC officials and coaches, abiding by committee chairman Paul Dee's order, declined to comment on the particulars of the hearing.

"We do want to thank the committee and the NCAA staff and everyone involved for these proceedings," USC spokesman James Grant said. "And [we're] pleased that we were able to present our side of the events and look forward to an outcome and to moving on."

As a hotel employee wheeled out seven boxes of documents and two thick binders labeled as USC's response to allegations, university President Steven Sample said, "I can't even say no comment on no comment."

Then, as he walked away from a group of reporters, Sample added with what sounded like a sense of hope, "It will come out. It will be great."

After two days of questions related to football, and allegations that former running back Reggie Bush and his family received extra benefits, the focus on Saturday turned to basketball.

USC has already self-imposed sanctions against the basketball program for violations that occurred during O.J. Mayo's one-season stay in 2007-08.

Former coach Tim Floyd appeared Saturday, as did current Trojans assistants Bob Cantu and Phil Johnson. Both coaches served under Floyd before he resigned last June.

Floyd was at the hearing to defend himself against an allegation made by a former member of Mayo's inner circle, who had said that Floyd paid former Mayo advisor Rodney Guillory $1,000. Floyd has denied it.

On Saturday, Floyd again denied the allegation and also repeated comments that he left USC not because of the allegation, but because he did not feel support from Garrett, said a source close to the situation, who requested anonymity because they were not authorized to speak on the record.

Another source said that during the hearing, USC provided some support of Floyd but also was critical of the former coach for how he responded after the allegations were reported.

The sources said that Floyd and Garrett shook hands at the proceeding.

Floyd was in good spirits after exiting the hearing, new football Coach Lane Kiffin following him out and offering a handshake and good-luck wishes.

Floyd said he could not comment about the hearing -- "I wish I could, but I can't," he said -- adding that he appeared because "it was the right thing to do."

Jim Darnell, one of Floyd's attorneys, said he thought Floyd got a fair hearing.

Asked if Floyd was able to vindicate himself, Darnell said, "We got the opportunity to present our side of the case."

Darnell would not speculate whether they were successful.

"I'll know that in two months," he said.

Asked what he hoped the end result would be, Darnell said, "What we want is for Coach to be dropped out of this completely."

gary.klein@latimes.com

twitter.com/latimesklein

Staff writer Lance Pugmire contributed to this report.

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