Nikias Responds to Fans


USC President C. L. Max Nikias issued an email statement to the Trojan Family today answering the numerous inquiries about suing the NCAA over the sanctions levied against the football program.

 "I have determined that the university's mission is best served by moving forward at this time, without pursuing further redress," says USC President C. L. Max Nikias.

"This decision followed an extensive review of all of our options and after consultation with many sources.  We ask that the Trojan Family offer its utmost support to the student-athletes and coaches of the Trojan football team, confident that USC's commitment to the highest level of excellence in academics and athletics will not waver in the coming years."



Not at all happy with the decision. Once these players lose out on another bowl game experience, it can never be recovered. It is now obvious to everyone that the NCAA did not treat USC fairly. The request to have the penalties reduced at our appeal was more than reasonable. Just wait and see what the penalties for OSU and UM compare with those given to USC.

As usual, another weak decision from SC. This is ridiculous guys, I know you have to suck up to the NCAA, but if we can beat them in court (and there really isn't any doubt we would) there is no reason not to try. Even if we get more punishments. There's no national outcry over the unfairness regarding SC, suing these morons might make the ESPN talking heads cover this. And as we've constantly seen, nothing changes at the NCAA without the media saying things first.

It's now official; the USC motto of "Fight On" has been changed to "Move On". By not taking a more aggressive posture early in the process and coupled with a comprehensive PR campaign, much of this could have been avoided. The PR strategy (if there was one) is one of worst I have ever witnessed. Gross incompetence has let the media shape the dialogue. All Trojans are paying a high price for this oversight.

Trojans around the world are wondering tonight what makes us different. Well the question remains as we have squandered a chance to take a meaningful position against the unjust and unfair NCAA.

As an Alumnus, donor, and fan; I am in total disbelief and shock at just how lame both this new Greenhorn President and Athletic Director have been throughout this entire process.

How can somebody with an engineering background review all the data points and come to this erroneous and terrible decision? Obviously, he has been swayed by some unknown external force. Must be using Stanford Attorneys for legal counsel!!

Move On!!!

Pathetic. I am glad our business students, film students, engineers, communication students, etc. don't bend over like our President does.

Court is always a difficult decision. I have been on both sides of bad decisions. No matter how clear the evidence is judges and juries are hard to predict. The entire process is extremely consuming in every respect.

It is a hard pill to swallow and personally I would have sued, but there are many valid arguments to moving on.

We have a great team in spite of the sanctions and due to excellent leadership, planning and recruiting we should have great teams throughout the sanctions.

Everyone knows now how unfair the NCAA has been. If we win a national title while under sanctions it will be a slap in the face to the NCAA.

Wish President sample and Garrett were still here. They had backbones. Even if we have no chance of winning at least put up a fight. I am confused why did we fire Garrett and bring in haden? Turns out Garrett was right about the NCAA infractions comittee is Nikias going to at least issue an apology. I am a 25+ year trojan and ttally disgusted with Nikias as he has done nothing since becoming president except accept take credit for donations that were already set to be given before he came into office.

Spineless, pathetic, cowardly, weak, and many more adjectives like that come to mind when I read the response above.
Not only I feel cheated by the NCAA, I'm disappointed how little influence our administration and the alumni network has on the NCAA.

By not perusing legal action against the NCAA we are indirectly agreeing with their decision and showing that we are not willing to Fight On for what we believe in.

You should really be ashamed of yourself.

...Does President Nikias have the last word on this or can someone else go over his head? I really think we should "FIGHT ON !"

They may want to move on but the scholarship reductions will handcuff our football team for years to come. They should have made a concerted effort to get some of those scholarships back. I hope we don't regret that decision.

Where is the 'fight-on' Spirit?
This is the right moment to fight and show some guts as trojans. Look at how messed up
Nikias you suck ~

This decision is ridiculous. I ve bee an SC fan since 1974 and I m not impressed with the president or athletic director.

The NCAA's punishment of SC is a joke!
I have deemed them, NATIONAL COMMUNISTS AGAINST ATHLETES! I think it's appropriate.

FIGHT ON and keep the faith!

Even if I did agree with this decision, I'd be disappointed with this release. After years of this circus, I think the alumni and fans deserve a more detailed explanation than a couple diplomatic lines.

At least he didn't say Fight On! at the end, that would be a disgrace to our motto.

Pathetic USC administration, PATHETIC!!!

This latest statement by USC President Nikias is the epitome of this current administration. With the fallout from the University of Miami scandal, media and journalists across the country have come to the defense of USC by pointing out the hypocrisy of the NCAA and in particular, Mr. Paul Dee, who served as the Chairman of the Committee on Infractions that oversaw the USC case. Even if President Nikias feels it is best for the University to move forward, why come out with a public statement now, right when the media is coming to the defense of the University? ESPN has already picked up this latest statement from President Nikias and posted it on ESPN Los Angeles. Again, why post this statement right now and ruin any momentum the University had? Instead of continually sucking up to the NCAA, why not stand up for the University of Southern California? Where is the "Fight On" in this administration? What would hurt by publicly asking the NCAA for a full investigation into Mr. Paul Dee? While Mr. Dee is telling USC that he is "troubled" by the atmosphere at USC, he has a rouge booster: lead the University of Miami football team out of the tunnel, physically attack his Director of Compliance and even talk of putting a stripper pole in his luxury box, not to mention a host of other issues. President Nikias, have you taken the time to read what Long Beach State President, Mr. F. King Alexander, recently said about the NCAA and Mr. Paul Dee? Judging by his public comments, sounds like the Long Beach State President is doing more for USC's case than you or Mr. Pat Haden ever dreamed of doing. If you and Mr. Haden do not want to defend the core integrity of the University of Southern California, please get out of the way and let someone else qualified do the job.

I don't know where to begin with this. I am a life time Cardinal and Gold member and will never give another dime to my alma mater until this so called leader is no longer associated to this school. It is pathetic to me that the best we can do with the resources we have is Move On.

Who is that better for. What sources said that we have no case or that it is better just to tuck tail and roll over like the runt of the litter. When has that ever been the way of our university? We are know as great educators and scientists, engineers and architects. We are Olympians and world class athletes. Has there ever been a coach that has said you cannot win so do bother trying. NO!!! When the road gets tough we FIGHT ON!!! If one of our professors hits an impasse in his work he does not quit and MOVE ON. If that were the case we would never win the many wonderful awards including the Nobel. These amazing men and women knew what it meant to FIGHT ON!!!

It is my belief that this President, who is supposed to LEAD our University, does not in any way embody the strength and leadership qualities that we need to continue our climb as both pillar of education AND a center for excellence in competition.


President Nikias,

I am speechless at the timing of this statement. The tide has just begun to turn against the NCAA, all we had to do was sit back and let the NCAA hang themselves. But you and the administration wanted to remind everyone that the past decade was tainted and that we need to accept the sanctions, "win the right way," and move on. Every other school stands behind their program in times of turmoil, but you don't see it the same way. This past decade the football team has been the true catalyst for our meteoric rise in the academic rankings. President Sample and yourself laid the groundwork, but Pete and the football team were the match that lit the kerosene and got the rest of the county to notice. You can't recreate that excitement with academic rankings. Who the heck is behind this poor PR campaign?

If you take a look at yourself, I think that you will find that the real reason that you don't want to stand up for the University is that YOU were the head of compliance during the historic run ths past decade that has now been tarnished. You can erase that from your bio on the website, but I and many other alums know where some of that blame lay. We all make mistakes, but we learn from them. Apparently, the words emblazoned at the base of Tommy Trojan, specifically "Faithful" and "Courageous" don't apply to you or the administration.

I hope that you will reconsider your stance and ask for the stay of the sanctions in light of Paul Dee's role in the Miami scandal, 100x worse than whatever occurred at USC. You still have a chance to help fix a broken system. Do the right thing for the University, current players, and college athletics as whole - FIGHT ON!

Class of '08 alum

President Nikias,

In further dealings with the football program please refrain from attempting to express your love and understanding of the USC program. The saying "actions speak louder than words" has never held more true.


Jeff Brennan '92
Amy Brennan '92
Lawrence Brennan '67
Susan Brennan '68
Harlow Johnson '44

President Nikias,

I'm writing to express my disappointment with your statement today that the University will "move forward" and pursue no further action, accepting the loss of 30 scholarships and second year of the bowl ban without any challenge or appeal. Even if we don't take legal action to sue the NCAA, many of us alums would like to see the University take advantage of the incredible PR opportunity we were given with the Paul Dee/Miami scandal to right some wrongs in the public eye. That scandal has made the public sit up and take note of the tremendous inequities in the sanctions we received vs the highly egregious misdeeds in Miami.

The opportunity to strike was perfect, and we could have made a statement by pointing this out, and suggesting that perhaps the NCAA should consider reducing the remaining sanctions against USC. It would have been so easy to do, and could have such a great impact on the football players that have been subjected to them. Even if they didn't agree to reduce the sanctions, at least the rest of the country would see that we felt wronged and were making some effort to right those wrongs. Surely some brilliant mind there could recognize the swell of public support for us that started building after the Miami scandal broke? The time was right to take advantage of that.

As it is, your statement does nothing to change the general perception around the country that we have a "Dirty" "cheating" football program, when in fact, they spent 4 years looking for a total of 3 infractions. One recent article said that we were the 2nd dirtiest program in college football history. Another just called us a "cesspool".

Miami had over 70 players involved, and in some pretty ugly business. The number of violations at Miami overwhelm what was found at USC. We don't deserve this reputation. How can you sit by so calmly and let that perception persist unabated? What happened to our motto, "Fight On"?

I understand and agree with the importance of increasing the academic profile of the school, but I think you forget that the rise of the football program under Pete Carroll made our name brand one of the most recognizable during that period, and that in itself led many students to become interested in USC.

Saying nothing at this point would have been better, because it leaves the door open to other possibilities. What you've done is seal our tomb without a fight, and I'm extremely disappointed.

Personally, even if we didn't succeed in getting our sanctions reduced, I would have been proud to have our university stand up for the reputation of our athletic department. All of the other schools which have had violations reported publicly in the past few months have come out with some statements defending their programs, but not us. NO. We're just taking everything lying down, without even a whimper. I find this painful and embarrassing.

Don't get me wrong. I love USC, but the football program deserves much better. I feel bad for the players. Maybe they could have at least dropped the bowl sanction for this year, and the Seniors would have the opportunity to play in a bowl game. I would have asked for a reduction in the scholarship sanctions as well as waiving the balance of the bowl restrictions. All they could do is say no. What's the harm in trying? The court of public opinion would have been on our side.

I feel like we've blown an incredible opportunity.

Where is the PAC-12 commissioner in all this? Why does the Big 10 and SEC commissioners fight for their respective schools and not Mr. Scott?

The USC administration helped create this mess, and has done a poor P.R. job. Nikias statement just makes matters much worse. After all he was the Provost responsible for USC compliance staff.

The administration owes USC fans an outline of the options review and the reasons they were dismissed.

It is really embarrassing that my beloved alma mater has the most incompetent PR capability in the nation in regard to athletics.

Gordon Gee tirelessly defends his school. The AD goes on the offensive proactively controlling the public conversation and providing guidance on reasonable sanctions to OSU.

USC's cowardly acts of penitence and contrition just further tarnish our school's image in the public eye. Please Pat Haden, DO NOT do any more interviews where you insinuate that USC used to be a dirty program. Max, why can't you ONCE, EVER say something publicly to defend the honor of our football program?

Worst PR in the history of college football.

I agree we should consider our new options. I also agree that Max had no right to make any comments at this point. I wonder if they made any attempt to reconsider our options after finding out about Miami and Dees before Max made this statement. I doubt it.

That being said, suing takes on special risks. Lane and company have done an excellent job of planning for the future of the scholarship limitations. This is no easy task. They had special options thanks to Pete's rather poor recruiting over the last couple of years of his tenure.

If we get a stay and we lose (seems very unlikely, but always a possibility) we would be in a very poor state when it is all said and done. At this point we are risking years of problems if we lose. If we win we gain our BCS championship back (a true farce that it was taken away as no money had changed hands and the Cam case allowed discussions) and we will be bowl eligible this year.

Half of our team roughly are Freshmen. It is very unlikely that we can win a national championship with such an inexperienced team. Our bowl eligibility would be nice; however, we are in a conference that fields the #3 and #7 teams and we are ranked #25. Remember, if we lose we will have to face a bowl ban for one year in a year that may be our best chance for a national title.

So the real question is what will we benefit? We will no longer be on probation so future violations (should they occur) will carry less punishment. We will gain most likely an inconsequential bowl and the BCS (who no one thinks is legit anyways) national championship for 2004. Remember we are the AP national champions anyways - they did not take out title away. Since the BCS vacated and the AP retained we are still the only recognized national champion for '04.

What can we lose? When the freshmen graduate (all 38 counting redshirts) we will be forced to take our 15 allotment then. Further, we would be short for up to three years. We already felt what that was like last year. As it stands now we will be very competitive for the foreseeable future.

Food for thought...

Nicely said, agree with you 100%!

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