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Reviewing the NCAA Sanctions on USC Football

Following the announcement of Amir Carlisle transferring into Notre Dame from USC, there began an internal conversation (to the OFD writers) about just what was going on at USC. It appears (to the casual observer) that several players are leaving the program because either (a) they are being asked to, or (b) the staff isn't trying very hard to retain them if they are thinking of leaving.

As a result, I wanted to dig a little deeper into their scholarship numbers now that the sanctions will take effect.

For more information, you can read here (LA Times article) or here (NCAA press release).

What we know:

- USC is allowed 15 football scholarships per year (instead of 25) for the next three years

- Additionally, they are allowed a maximum of 75 scholarship football players total over the same period

All told, this amounts to a total reduction of 30 scholarships over a three year period.

More numbers after the jump.

The Numbers:

Based on what I have read, USC will be able to take 17 football players in the 2012 class thanks to early entries during last year's recruiting cycle (which officially stands at 23). Of those 17, two have to be January enrollees.

Note: the rest of the numbers come from Scout, so take that for what its worth. You can view the eligibility chart here.

Current scholarship football players from 2011 season (including graduating seniors): 80

Seniors out of eligibility: 10

Seniors eligible for 5th year: 3

Transfers (6): Dillon Baxter, Brice Butler, TJ Bryant, Amir Carlisle, Kyle Prater, Armond Armstead

NFL Draft Early Entries (2): Matt Kalil, Nick Perry

Current verbal commitments for 2012: 12 (includes 2 Junior College transfers that count toward the 2011 class)

Other reported transfers into USC (2): Joshua Shaw, DeVante Wilson (committed last year but delayed enrollment due to knee injury)

Now for a little arithmetic (and Mouth can help me out if I screw this up): 80-10-3-6-2 = 59 returning players, which assumes that there are no 5th year seniors in 2012.

Considering that they can take up to 17 players in 2012 (which they would more than likely do), they can return a total of 58 players (75-17 = 58).

Meaning: there will be one more "transfer" likely in the next few days.

Current Recruiting Class:

Currently, there are 14 players listed in some state of commitment to USC. This means they have 3 remaining scholarships for 2012.

Finally, a quick view at their depth chart:

QB - 5

RB - 6

WR - 7

TE - 4

OL - 13

DL - 12

LB - 9

DB - 13

K/P/LS - 3

Total: 72

Final Thoughts:

It appears that while the Trojans may be okay for the 2012 season, the NCAA sanctions will take their toll over the next few years as they lose players due to graduation, the NFL and natural attrition. I have read more than a few conspiracy theorists that maintain that Kiffin and his staff are loading up for a run in 2012 and then will move on to greener pastures.

Only time will tell to what extent the sanctions impact the USC program.