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USC Trojans placed on two-year probation, avoid tourney ban

Jan 28, 2021; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Detailed view of Southern California Trojans SC logo at midcourt at Galen Center  Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
Jan 28, 2021; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Detailed view of Southern California Trojans SC logo at midcourt at Galen Center Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Southern Cal was hit with two years of probation and a $5,000 fine by the NCAA on Thursday for the actions of former assistant coach Tony Bland, who accepted a bribe to steer players to a business management company.

USC was able to avoid an NCAA Tournament ban. The fine also includes an additional 1 percent of the basketball budget.

“I’m proud of our university, athletics department and men’s basketball program for our management of this matter,” USC athletic director Mike Bohn said in a statement. “Since my arrival at the end of 2019, I have been focused on continuing and enhancing our already-robust compliance program. The NCAA’s findings, comments and acceptance of our self-imposed penalties are a reflection of our commitment to accountability, integrity and transparency,”

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USC self-imposed sanctions of a reduction of two scholarships in 2018-19, reduction of visits over a rolling two-year period, and a reduction of recruiting person days in 2018-19.

Bland was given a three-year show cause order by the NCAA.

This case originated Sept. 26, 2017, when FBI agents arrested Bland in connection with an indictment and federal criminal complaint filed in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York.

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Bland accepted a $4,100 bribe to steer Trojans players to certain business managers and financial advisers once they turned pro. He pleaded guilty to a felony count of conspiracy to commit bribery in January 2019 and was sentenced to two years’ probation and 100 hours of community service.

–Field Level Media