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BCS strips USC of '04 national title

---The BCS announced today it has stripped USC of its national championship in 2004, marking the first time a football or men’s basketball championship has been vacated since the polls began.

The BCS vacated the title based on the NCAA’s findings that tailback Reggie Bush was ineligible for the game. The NCAA ruled last year that Bush received improper benefits throughout his three-year career with the Trojans.

The Trojans crushed Oklahoma 55-19 in the 2005 Orange Bowl to win the championship and Bush rushed for 75 yards and has two receptions for 31 yards in the game. Last year, USC was banned from a bowl game for two years and given scholarship reductions as a result of a lengthy NCAA investigation.

The BCS waited until the school’s appeal was denied two weeks ago before its presidential oversight committee officially stripped USC of its championship. The oversight committee is chaired by Penn State’s Graham Spanier and includes presidents from the 12 major conferences and Notre Dame.

“The BCS arrangement crowns a national champion, and the BCS games are showcase events for post-season football,” BCS executive director Bill Hancock said in a statement released by the organization. “One of the best ways of ensuring that they remain so is for us to foster full compliance with NCAA rules. Accordingly, in keeping with the NCAA’s recent action, USC's appearances are being vacated.’’

The Associated Press earlier said it would not change its decision on crowning the Trojans national champions for that season.

“The BCS alerted us today that their presidents have voted to vacate USC’s 2005 BCS Championship Game victory,” USC athletics director Pat Haden said in a statement. “This was not an unexpected outcome. We will comply with all requirements mandated by the result of this BCS vote.”

---Rodney McKissic



College football | National | NCAA | Notre Dame
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Bob Dicesare

Bob DiCesare

Western New York native Bob DiCesare covers UB football, Big 4 basketball and writes an occasional column. He still holds a grudge against Chris Ford who, he's convinced, cost St. Bonaventure the 1970 NCAA basketball championship.

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Amy Moritz

Amy Moritz

Amy Moritz, a native of Lockport, has covered colleges for The Buffalo News since 1999. She has a bachelor’s degree in journalism/mass communication from St. Bonaventure University and a master’s degree in humanities from the University at Buffalo. An endurance athlete, she has completed several triathlons, half marathons and marathons.

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