Former USC stars Matthews, Cody chime in on sanctions

The University of Southern California football program was hit hard with sanctions by the NCAA on Thursday, including a two-year postseason ban, loss of 30 scholarships and a vacation of victories in the 2004 and 2005 seasons.

Texans defensive tackle Shaun Cody was a first-team All-American on the 2004 USC team, which finished 13-0 after beating Oklahoma 55-19 in the BCS National Championship Game. That title now stands to be erased from the record books, along with all of USC's wins from the 2005 season.

"I think it's a bit steep, to be honest," Cody said of the sanctions on Thursday. "I still beat Oklahoma in the National Championship game, so I really don't care all that much.

"For the guys who weren't doing anything, I think it's pretty harsh and pretty silly. But it's not like I'm worried about it. I know what I did in my career there. I'm sure everyone knows what they did. So it's not that big a deal."

Texans offensive assistant Bruce Matthews, an All-American lineman at USC who is the most-decorated NFL player ever to come out of the school, also chimed in on the sanctions.

"That was a great run in 'SC history, but unfortunately, the actions of a few spoiled it for the other guys," Matthews said. "I think 'SC does it the right way. Unfortunately, in this case you've got a lot of guys paying for the sins of just a few individuals or who knows how many guys.

"One of the best things about a team sport is you share in the accomplishments as a team, but unfortunately when one guy screws up, you all can pay the price, the whole team can pay the price. That's unfortunate."

Matthews, whose brother Clay Jr. and nephew Clay III also played at USC, said he is confident that the Trojans will have continued success in the years ahead.

"There's a tradition there that isn't really about just what happened last year or the next two years," he said. "The tradition's been going on for a long time there, and I think the type of guys that go there are aware of that. It's just one more thing to overcome. Like I say to all the other coaches here when I talk about 'SC, when you're on top, everybody's shooting for you. So enjoy it. We'll be back."

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