A recent recon mission for Irish Creed brought me to the south central LA campus of Cal Southern in order to check in on our long time rivals and see what I could dig up in the aftermath of recent NCAA sanctions.
It’s common knowledge by now that Cal Southern was hit hard by sanctions resulting from the “lack of institutional control” exhibited by their athletic department, specifically regarding illegal benefits taken by athletes Reggie Bush and O.J. Mayo. These sanctions went beyond the punishments placed upon the football team. They led to the eventual firing of running backs coach Todd McNair, athletic director Mike Garrett, and they also forced head coach Pete Carroll to jump ship just before everything came crashing down. Several players have already taken advantage of the "get out of jail free cards" issued to them by the NCAA by transferring to play for other programs. Others are expected to follow in their wake. Most importantly, it seems as though a once prideful legacy will forever be sullied in the eyes of honest men.
The longstanding tradition of excellence at Cal Southern has recently become overshadowed by the circus surrounding their athletic department. It was clearly getting out of control with constant celebrity appearances at games and practices and the overall promotion of a Hollywood image encouraging student athletes to focus more on living lavishly than on being either students or athletes. Those in charge could only turn a blind eye for so long, and when the level of absurdity peaked with Reggie Bush and O.J. Mayo something had to give.