USC fired coach Frank Cruz on Wednesday (Feb. 13) amid accusations of NCAA violations. Cruz was the baseball coach for USC over the past two seasons, posting a record of 48-63 during his tenure. According to a report from late Wednesday, Cruz got fired for violating an important NCAA rule regarding limits on practice time and organized team activities.
Firing Cruz is being reported as a self-imposed reaction by the school and that it was Trojans athletic director Pat Haden that dismissed him. In addition to the firing of Cruz, the baseball team has also reduced the number of practice hours that they can participate in for the next two seasons. The self-imposed discipline could go a long way to smoothing things over with the NCAA.
Haden released a statement on the decision, stating that, "Adhering to all NCAA rules is paramount for each one of our coaches, student-athletes and staff members. Those who knowingly break NCAA rules are subject to termination."
This was definitely a bold move by the school, but also one that could stem from the lack of success that Cruz brought the program. Even with the self-imposed sanctions, the NCAA could still level punishments against the school after an investigation takes place. As USC fires its coach in preparation for what might be coming, the ruling board could also deem the limited practice hours enough of a punishment already.
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