LOS ANGELES, Calif.--As expected, the Bowl Championship Series has stripped USC of its national football championship for the 2004 season.
USC last month lost its appeal of sanctions handed down by the NCAA, which found earlier that former running back Reggie Bush and his family had received improper benefits while he was playing for the Trojans.
Last year, the NCAA stripped USC of all of its wins in which Bush participated--including the 2005 Orange Bowl, which the Trojans won 55-19 over Oklahoma to win the BCS national championship. The BCS had deferred a decision on whether to strip USC of the title pending its appeal of the NCAA ruling.
"The BCS arrangement crowns a national champion, and the BCS games are showcase events for post-season football," according to BCS executive director Bill Hancock. "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.
"This action reflects the scope of the BCS arrangement and is consistent with the NCAA's approach when it subsequently discovers infractions by institutions whose teams have played in NCAA championship events," he said.
USC Athletic Director Pat Haden said the BCS decision was anticipated.
"The BCS alerted us today that their presidents have voted to vacate USC's 2005 BCS Championship victory," he said. "This was not an unexpected outcome. We will comply with all requirements mandated by the result of this BCS vote."
According to the NCAA investigation, Bush, his mother and stepfather accepted thousands of dollars in cash and free housing while Bush was playing for USC beginning in December 2004. He and his family were also given an automobile, air travel, hotel lodging, transportation and other benefits, according to the NCAA's 67-page report.
According to the report, an assistant USC football coach knew of the payments but failed to alert the university, and later provided "false and misleading" information to the NCAA.
The NCAA banned USC from making any bowl game appearances for two years and stripped the university of 10 scholarships for three seasons.