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USC stripped of 2004 BCS title? That's so last month

Despite the appeal to NCAA launched in June, USC effectively forfeited the BCS title when it accepted that Reggie Bush was ineligible when he played in the championship game.

July 28, 2010|Chris Dufresne

Where were you this summer when USC football was stripped of its 2004 Bowl Championship Series title?

Actually, it wasn't announced by the BCS, reported in newspapers or touted on ESPN's crawl.

It slipped through the cracks — sort of like Reggie Bush into the line of scrimmage —- on June 25.

That was the day USC announced it was appealing parts of major sanctions levied by the NCAA earlier in the month.

USC effectively forfeited the BCS title when it accepted that Bush was ineligible when he participated in USC's 55-19 title-game win over Oklahoma.

USA Today reported Wednesday that USC football's 2004 BCS title would be vacated "if" USC loses its appeal with the NCAA for major sanctions.

In reality, though, it's a matter of when, not if.

BCS executive director Bill Hancock said at Big 12 media day Tuesday that USC's title, if vacated, would not be awarded to another team — Oklahoma, Auburn or Utah.

What he couldn't say was that USC actually vacated the championship a month ago.

Reached Wednesday by phone, Hancock said the BCS would not act on USC until its appeal process is complete, which could take months.

"We don't see a need to take action until this whole episode is over," Hancock said.

USC's 2004 trophy, though, is tainted history.

USC is appealing to reduce a two-year bowl ban to one and get back half of the 30 scholarships the NCAA has taken away. USC has already loaded its media guide with qualifying asterisks, distanced itself from Bush's records and even shipped its copy of his Heisman Trophy back to New York.

The Associated Press has already announced that USC will keep its trophy from the 2004 season.

chris.dufresne@latimes.com

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