The NCAA turned down USC's request for "consideration" regarding the sanctions in place on its football program, two days after athletic director Pat Haden met with NCAA officials to discuss the penalties in light of Penn State's recent restoration of lost scholarships.
In a statement provided to USA TODAY Sports, NCAA spokesperson Megan Durham said, "There is no comparison between the USC and Penn State cases. In USC's case, a hearing before the Committee on Infractions was held and there was an appeal. There will be no further appeal."
Haden and USC's vice president for athletic compliance raised the topic of lessening the school's sanctions during a scheduled meeting Tuesday and Wednesday with NCAA officials in Indianapolis.
Said Haden, "Given the changing landscape impacting intercollegiate sports over the past year, the recent action regarding Penn State, the impact of the sanctions on our program and the efforts we have under taken at USC to compete with integrity, we again argued for some consideration regarding the 2010 sanctions during the last year of our penalty,"
On Tuesday, the NCAA announced that Penn State, which was penalized heavily in the wake of the Jerry Sandusky child sex abuse scandal, would be allowed to increase its scholarship total from 70 to 75 for the 2014-15 academic year, from 75 to 80 in 2015-16 and back to the maximum of 85 scholarships in 2016-17.
USC remains crippled by the penalties assessed by the NCAA following an investigation into impermissible benefits received by former running back Reggie Bush. The Trojans' sanctions included the loss of 10 scholarships per year during a three-year span, beginning in 2011 and continuing through the 2013 season, and a maximum of 75 scholarship players on the roster – 10 fewer than the typical allotment.
USC will be allowed to sign 25 players in its 2014 recruiting class, which will greatly bolster the Trojans' overall depth. However, the program will still be limited to 75 scholarship players until the 2015 season, when it can again field the full 85-player allocation.
During its meeting with USC, the NCAA agreed to review the university's "creative outside the box solutions to the scholarship issues" plaguing the football program, Haden said.
"Because time is of the essence regarding these issues, we have asked for the NCAA's response as soon as practical," Haden said.