Bryce Dixon's return to campus Wednesday morning was a signal that his banishment may not be as absolutely final and permanent as advertised.
And although he was sighted at the Rising Stars Camp, Bryce was back at USC, after being expelled as of the end of the spring semester for an unspecified student conduct issue from the fall, for another reason.
Here's the background analysis of what we think is happening here and where it's going.
Bryce was at USC for a scheduled and NCAA-mandated appeal hearing granted to any student who loses his athletic scholarship. The hearing was in front of a 10-person panel including representatives from student aid, the Dean of Students office, the university legal counsel, faculty and the USC athletic department in the person of Senior Associate AD J.K. McKay and VP for Compliance Dave Roberts.
With Bryce unable to return to school for the summer session, his scholarship has been, in effect, canceled. And until something changes that, this panel was mostly for information purposes.
But it's understood that the desire here on Bryce's part was to tell USC how much he wants to return, how it's always been his dream school, how his goal is that he'll graduate in three years after a reported 3.0 GPA in the spring -- and how what happened to him was neither fair nor just.
And yes, there is a plan to get Bryce back to USC although the backup plan is to attend Ventura College. But if it happens and Bryce is back at USC, he would not be the first USC student to have gone this route.
We understand there is one student, who lost and was expelled on a similar misconduct proceeding and finding, and then lost on his appeal, who has returned to the university. It happened after a court stayed the USC verdict when it granted a motion to prevent irreparable harm if the USC decision is carried out before a hearing at the court. Of course, this depends on the facts and fairness of the USC proceedings.
And of course, similar findings are being challenged all over the nation. What would have to happen would be for Bryce to follow that same pattern, get a court to stay the USC decision this summer and then return to school -- and the USC football team if it approves his return -- by the fall. The case would then be scheduled to be heard in LA Superior Court within the next 18 to 24 months with Bryce back in school until that time -- if the Court rules that way.
How is USC responding to all of this? As one of the 55 schools targeted by the Department of Education for not pursuing and resolving these sorts of student misconduct issues the way the federal government has determined they should, USC is in the crosshairs on this.
But one person who has seen USC's rejection of Bryce's misconduct expulsion appeal reads it this way: It's a "he said, she said," deal, is how he interpreted the wording of USC's appeal rejection, and based on the way the rules are written, we [USC] must go with what "she said."
And so USC did. But a court does not have to go that same route. The rules will be different. So . . .
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