USC's record last season was 8-5, the program's worst showing since 2001. Attendance was down, too, to an average of 79,907, its lowest since 2003 — and that costs the university not only in ticket revenue but also in concessions.
The Trojans averaged 90,812 per home game in 2005, the season Bush won the Heisman and the Trojans pursued a third consecutive national title.
In 2006, after the allegations that Bush and his family had received extra benefits came to light, the Trojans averaged a school- and Pacific 10 Conference-record 91,480 per home game. Since then, however, attendance has fallen every year — to 87,476 in 2007 despite a Rose Bowl championship; to 86,793 in 2008 with another Rose Bowl winner; to 84,799 in 2009 as the team slipped to 9-4 and the Emerald Bowl; to last year's sub-80,000 dive.
One positive: Corporate sponsors did not flee, according to school officials.
"Granted, with everything there were questions, but at the end of the day there weren't any limitations placed on us in terms of delivering," said Jose Eskenazi, an associate athletic director in charge of marketing. "We're still on TV, we still have a radio broadcast and there is still a turnout for games."