The appeal asks for the penalties resulting from the Reggie Bush investigation, including a two-year bowl ban and scholarship reductions that total 30 over a three-year span, to be cut in half.
"The University recognizes that violations of NCAA rules did occur, especially involving impermissible benefits going to student athletes as well as their friends and families, from unscrupulous sports agents and sports marketers. And we take full responsibility for those violations given that they happened on our watch," USC senior vice president Todd Dickey said in a press release Friday. "However, we disagree with many of the findings in the report from the NCAA Committee on Infractions and assert that the penalties imposed are too severe for the violations identified and are inconsistent with precedent in similar cases."
The formal announcement of an appeal comes one day after published reports revealed significant inconsistencies in how the findings against USC running backs coach Todd McNair were determined. McNair's alleged knowledge of the connection between would-be San Diego sports marketers and Bush was at the heart of the most significant penalties handed down in nearly a decade.
The Trojans are currently limited to signing 15 players in each of the 2011, 2012 and 2013 recruiting classes and cannot have more than 75 players on scholarship during those years. If the appeal is granted, those numbers would increase to 20 and 80 respectively, numbers roughly on par with how the team was constructed during the Pete Carroll era.
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