USC loses appeal in Bush case

Appeal by Trojans to reduce penalties is struck down. Result will be officially announced Thursday.

USC has lost its appeal to have sanctions handed down in the Reggie Bush case overturned, effectively concluding the saga, which has left the program in limbo since 2006.

The NCAA will officially announce the findings Thursday, but efforts by the athletic department to have a postseason ban for the 2011 season overturned and significant scholarship reductions for the 2012, 2013 and 2014 recruiting class trimmed were not successful.

As such, the Trojans will be ineligible to play in a bowl or the inaugural Pac-12 championship game at the end of the upcoming season and will be limited to signing 15 players over each of the next three years.

The immediate impact for USC will be two-fold. First, by upholding the postseason band, seniors are allowed to transfer to another school and play immediately without sitting out.

The Trojans lost fullback D.J. Shoemate to Connecticut and defensive end Malik Jackson to Tennessee to that stipulation last year.

Given the youth across the roster – USC has just 13 seniors on scholarship – any losses would further erode what little senior leadership and experience the team has.

Second, it will force the coaching staff to be more selective in how it completes its recruiting class. The Trojans already have eight verbal commitments, adding Santa Margarita (Calif.) offensive tackle Max Tuerk on Wednesday. That leaves USC with seven spots available, and major needs on the offensive line and at linebacker to be filled.

The ruling was expected after former USC assistant coach Todd McNair lost his appeal last month. McNair was hit with a one-year show cause penalty after the Committee on Infractions concluded he misled investigators regarding Bush's relationship with two San Diego-based would-be sports marketers that allegedly provided the star running back with hundreds of thousands of dollars in cash and other impermissible benefits.

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