USC Athletic Director Pat Haden said Cruz knowingly violated NCAA rules limiting the number of hours athletes can spend in activities directed or supervised by the coaching staff. USC is already on NCAA probation for violations relating for former players, and has reportedly announced a self-imposed reduction in baseball practice hours for this season and the next.
“Adhering to all NCAA rules is paramount for each one of our coaches, student-athletes and staff members,” Haden said in a statement posted on the school’s website. “Those who knowingly break NCAA rules are subject to termination.”
USC said Cruz violated the NCAA’s “countable athletically related activities limitations,” but no details were provided. The Los Angeles Times reports that “according to NCAA bylaws, athletes are limited to four hours per day and 20 hours per week of countable athletically related activities during their seasons. In the off-season, they are limited to eight hours per week with not more than two hours per week spent on skill-related workouts. NCAA baseball rules also limit the number of athletes that can be involved in skill-related instruction with coaches during various times of the year.”
The school named Dan Hubbs, 42, as the new head coach. Hubbs is the Trojans’ former associate head coach and pitching coach and is in his second seam with the team.
USC opens its season on Feb. 15 against Cal State Fullerton. “I'm confident that Dan Hubbs and his staff will lead our team to a successful season,” Haden said. “Dan is a good coach, he is highly regarded in the baseball community and he has strong Trojan roots.” Hubbs pitched for team from 1991 to 1993 and was an All-American in 1993.
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