Update: 9/13 – 3:05 p.m. ET
OK it seems like USC was just doing what it was instructed to do by the NCAA when it said its Rose Bowl loss to Texas had been vacated.
But, according to USC sports information director Tim Tessalone, the program was instructed in 2010 by Jim Wright, then the NCAA director of statistics, not to include participation in any games that year as part of its official records. That edict included the Rose Bowl.
“I have documentation in a letter sent in July 2010 to Wright noting all the changes he instructed us to make, including that losses had to be vacated,” Tessalone said in an email. “The letter also states that he had reviewed all our revisions and approved them.”
The NCAA says USC 0-0 in 2005, but it still counts Texas as the winner of its game versus the Trojans.
When asked to clarify how the NCAA officially views USC’s record from 2005, Jeff Williams, the associate director of media coordination and statistics for the NCAA, provided a link to the organization’s list of USC’s season-by-season records. It lists the Trojans as 0-0 in 2005 and notes that 12 wins and the Rose Bowl loss were vacated.
From a Texas perspective, the NCAA still includes the game as a win.
Original story: 9/11 – 5:45 p.m. ET
When USC hosts Texas on Saturday, it will mark the first time the two schools square off since the infamous 2006 Rose Bowl, when the Longhorns won the national title thanks to a Vince Young touchdown run with 19 seconds remaining and spoiled USC’s perfect season.
But according to USC, that game — the team’s only loss of the season — was vacated alongside the team’s 12 wins from that year. You see, USC had to vacate those wins amid the NCAA-Reggie Bush saga that caused the Trojans star running back to lose his Heisman Trophy. In USC’s game notes for this weekend’s game against the Longhorns, it includes the Rose Bowl loss among the vacated games from that season.
This is not a joke. USC says its official record all-time against Texas is 4-0 — not 4-1 — several times in the game notes (which you can view here).
What makes it even sillier is this supposedly vacated loss is recapped in full in the game notes, too. Bush is mentioned several times.
Say what you want about the NCAA’s practice of vacating wins (it’s silly), but vacating losses just makes absolutely no sense. That’s why official records say USC was 0-1 that season even though we all saw those wins with our own eyes.
When the NCAA announced the penalties from the investigation into Bush and former Trojans basketball star O.J. Mayo, it mentioned only vacating wins, not losses:
The findings in this case include a lack of institutional control, impermissible inducements, extra benefits and exceeding coaching staff limits.
The penalties include four years probation; a two-year football postseason ban; a one-year basketball postseason ban; vacation of regular and postseason wins for all three involved sports (football, basketball and women’s tennis); scholarship reductions for football and basketball; and recruiting restrictions for men’s basketball.
All of Bush’s statistics for that season were supposed to be vacated as well, but they are still present in USC’s record books. As is standard in game notes, USC lists its all-time rushing leaders. You’ll see a familiar name at No. 7 with his 2005 stats present with an asterisk.
We’ll give you two points for creativity, USC.
More college football from Yahoo Sports:
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