Guest Author - Mona McKenzie
USC formally appealed sanctions levied by the NCAA and admitted that some violations, such as payments to athletes and their families, did occur. The Trojans seek to reduce the current two year post-season bowl ban down to one year, and reduce the number of football scholarships lost the next three seasons from ten per year down to five. The BCS will wait until the outcome of the appeal is determined to decide whether USC will be stripped of their 2004 National Championship, which the Trojans won during the time of the infractions. Heisman Trophy winner Reggie Bush was the focal point of the NCAA investigation into USC violations. Bush may be stripped of the award, since the NCAA ruled that he was ineligible for the 2004 season. No player over the past 75 years has ever been stripped of the prestigious award, but, that may change when the organization’s Trustees meet in July.
Chad Jones, the New York Giants’ rookie safety, was involved in a one-car accident in Louisiana, suffering critical injuries. Jones, who was driving the car, has a broken left leg and ankle, while two passengers were apparently uninjured. An investigation ensues to find out what caused the accident.
After being a no show for mandatory mini-camp, Redskins DT Albert Haynesworth states he will attend training camp. The ‘Skins expected Haynesworth to participate in mini-camp after he was paid a $21 million roster bonus on April 1st. Haynesworth was given the opportunity to seek a trade prior to receiving the payment, however, no trade was consummated. Several Redskins players have publicly called Haynesworth “selfish” for his actions. Stay tuned.
Carolina Panthers WR Steve Smith suffered a broken arm this week after playing a flag football game. Smith broke the same arm he injured in Week 16 last year, ending his season. Typically, NFL teams ban players from participating in games like flag football because of possible injuries. Smith’s injury definitely comes at a bad time for the Panthers, since they will enter training camp for the first time in many years without quarterback Jake Delhomme, who was released earlier this year. Veteran QB Matt Moore and rookie QB Jimmy Clausen will battle for the starting job without having an opportunity to practice with Smith, who will likely miss all of training camp. The Panthers organization has not publicly stated whether or not action will be taken against Smith for the incident.