USC stripped of 2004 BCS title
The NCAA sanctioned USC last year after ruling that Reggie Bush violated rules by accepting gifts while he was a USC player.
June 6th, 2011
07:21 PM ET

USC stripped of 2004 BCS title

The group that crowns college football's national champion stripped the 2004-05 title from the University of Southern California on Monday, a decision stemming from an NCAA investigation of former USC running back Reggie Bush.

No 2004 champion will be named in USC's place, the Bowl Championship Series said.

The BCS's decision was a distinct possibility since last year, when the NCAA vacated USC's last two victories of the 2004 season and all of the Trojans' wins in 2005 after ruling that Bush violated rules by accepting gifts while at USC.

The group said it made its decision after the NCAA denied USC's appeal of sanctions last month.

"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 the NCAA championship events," BCS Executive Director Bill Hancock said in a news release.

The BCS also stripped USC of the January 2005 Orange Bowl victory that clinched the 2004 title, and vacated USC's appearance in the 2006 Rose Bowl, which it lost to Texas.

"This was not an unexpected outcome," USC athletic director Pat Haden said, according to USC's athletics site.  "We will comply with all requirements mandated by the result of this BCS vote."

The NCAA ruled last year that Bush lost his eligibility to play college football in December 2004, saying that he and his family accepted gifts from two would-be sports agents.

The agents, hoping to represent Bush in the NFL draft, allegedly paid for hotel rooms, rent on a home where Bush’s family lived and a limousine ride that Bush took to accept the 2005 Heisman Trophy. Such payments and gifts are not allowed under NCAA rules.

Bush played for USC from 2003 through January 2006. He left school as a junior, and the New Orleans Saints drafted him in the 2006 NFL draft.

Besides vacating victories, the NCAA last year put USC on four years of probation, banned it from bowl games in the 2010 and 2011 seasons, and ruled that USC cannot associate itself with Bush.

Bush forfeited his 2005 Heisman Trophy last September, a few months after the NCAA sanctioned USC.

The decision to not crown a 2004 champion may disappoint Auburn, Oklahoma and Utah fans. Auburn, like USC, finished the season 13-0, and was ranked No. 2 in that season’s final, post-bowl Associated Press poll.

Oklahoma lost to USC in the Orange Bowl, 55–19, and finished third in the AP poll. Utah finished the year 12-0 and was ranked fourth by the AP.

The Associated Press last year decided not to alter its 2004-05 rankings, meaning USC remains atop that year's final poll.

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Filed under: College football • Football • Sports
soundoff (129 Responses)
  1. Kingmade

    Gifts don't make champions. What you are doing to all the kids on the team who played by the rules is BS. Let the past be the past and learn from it.

    June 6, 2011 at 7:37 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Thoob78

    "Let the past be the past and learn from it." We learn from mistakes when we are accountable for making them. It does penalize those on the team that had nothing to do with Bush's mistakes and that is terrible. But it was his huge talent that helped SC win.

    June 6, 2011 at 7:52 pm | Report abuse |
  3. €Engleberthumperdink¥£

    Ok CNN and all bloggers. Go ahead and take a break from Anthony's Case Posts.

    June 6, 2011 at 7:53 pm | Report abuse |
  4. €Engleberthumperdink¥£

    Well, they accepted gifts, but they still beat them where it counts, on the field and on the scoreboard.

    June 6, 2011 at 7:57 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Brandon

    Wow, kind of a knee jerk reaction don't you think?

    June 6, 2011 at 7:57 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Anthony's Case Posts

    still havent found my meth

    June 6, 2011 at 7:58 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Dan

    Something tells me that if all the national champions were truly investigated they would almost all be dirty. With all the political correctness today why don't we just not keep score at any of the games so everyone feels good about themselves.

    June 6, 2011 at 8:03 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Chicago Shouts

    "Well, they accepted gifts, but they still beat them where it counts, on the field and on the scoreboard."
    "Wow, kind of a knee jerk reaction don't you think?"
    "Gifts don't make champions. "

    There is a clear lack of morals if people don't react to the above numbskull quotes from some of the people who posted comments to this article. What planet are you people from? So, because Reggie Bush won it's OK to let thoes incovenient NCAA rules bend just a little bit because he is a remarkable athlete? The means justifies the ends? Shame on you for not calling Bush for what he is, which is a greedy, arrogant liar who felt he was above the rules. The people who are the real "champions" are the kids who didn't break the rules.

    June 6, 2011 at 8:25 pm | Report abuse |
  9. €Engleberthumperdink¥£

    Wow Dan, that was kind of a knee jerk reaction; don't you think?

    June 6, 2011 at 8:26 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Excellent

    Good! I hate USC almost as much as those Miami Hurricanes. Watch out Ohio State – your next. And while the NCAA is at it, check out those Florida Gators.

    June 6, 2011 at 8:27 pm | Report abuse |
  11. McPurp

    SEC SEC SEC!!!!

    June 6, 2011 at 8:31 pm | Report abuse |
    • JOregon


      June 6, 2011 at 9:10 pm | Report abuse |
  12. €Engleberthumperdink¥£

    @Chicago Shouts: Those gifts did not enhance the ability of anyone @ USC. It's not like a bicyclist taking drugs for endurance. These gift rules serve no purpose. I say do away with them. USC is the real champ to most people for 2004 anyway.

    June 6, 2011 at 8:31 pm | Report abuse |
  13. sandyk

    Instead of blaming the NCAA this falls squarely on Reggie Bush ~ he was supposedly part of a TEAM ~ he let his team down. Like Nancy said `Just Say No`

    June 6, 2011 at 8:37 pm | Report abuse |
  14. banasy

    Live by the rules or die by the rules.
    It's that simple.

    June 6, 2011 at 8:43 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Larry - Columbia, SC

    Oh, that's ripe. The BCS, which controls bowl games like the Fiesta Bowl, which pretends to be a non-profit organization and then brings in millions and millions of dollars with which to pay their executives obscene salaries and play patty-cake with the cheerleaders at golf resorts, now is going to take away a trophy that Southern California earned because an athlete, who got paid nothing for playing the game, took a few lousy dollars and didn't give them any of it.

    June 6, 2011 at 8:43 pm | Report abuse |
    • Tarheel 1

      Perhaps Larry will research the legal requirements for an organization to be a non-profit instead of jumping to conclusions based on salaries and benefits. While it may seem unethical at the least, there is little more than accusations without evidence that the BCS is operating illegally (at least at this time). Perhaps facts and not "feelings" would be more appropriate - Larry!

      June 6, 2011 at 8:52 pm | Report abuse |
    • Fins4ever#1

      Could not agree more. The NCAA is on a witch hunt with high paid execs. If the players make no money, why should they?

      June 6, 2011 at 10:25 pm | Report abuse |
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