Allegations against former Sarkisian assistant mean anxiety in Troy
The SoCal native and former USC quarterbacks coach and offensive coordinator under Pete Carroll was already facing an uphill climb; he's replacing the popular Ed Orgeron and his 34-29 record as the main man at UW doesn't exactly scream "can't miss!"
So when news broke earlier this week that former Sarkisian assistant, Tosh Lupoi, is being investigated for recruiting violations, some Trojan fans began to fear the worst. USC is still living in the shadows of previous violations and fans and media members alike are already worried about how this latest scandal will impact the program.
The Los Angeles Times is already wondering how this news will affect the Trojans moving forward and Bruce Feldman of CBSSports.com told ESPN Los Angeles that this news "mortified" USC fans.
Lupoi is being investigated for paying $4,500 out of his pocket for tutoring and online classes for a potential recruit, Andrew Basham, who never ultimately made it to UW.
I understand that college football in Los Angeles is a big deal and the mention of "recruiting violations" may hit a little close to home for the men of Troy, but this story is still in its early stages. The investigation is currently underway and more information -- and hearsay -- is coming out every hour. There really is no telling how this will turn out but one thing is clear: this story has already taken on a life of its own.
The truth is that this really seems like a minor deal. The recruit in question, Andrew Basham, never even enrolled at UW and, earlier today, Basham's mother denied that Lupoi paid for her son's tutoring.
Even if the investigation is able to prove any wrongdoing by Lupoi, pinning that on coach Sark and, thus, giving life to USC fans' current anxieties, will be another difficult step.
Sarkisian has already been proactive in his defense. In order to deflect these allegations, Sark needs to show "that he did enough in terms of promoting an atmosphere of compliance and that he monitored his program so that he should not be held responsible," according to a former university compliance director quoted in the Los Angeles Times article.
Answering questions about the topic, Sarkisian has set his defense in place, telling reporters that he "did everything to promote a compliant atmosphere" at UW.
Let's remember that in May of this year, just five months after Lupoi came to UW, he was disciplined and his recruiting load was lightened for committing a very minor recruiting violation -- pretty decent evidence that there was, in fact, an "atmosphere of compliance."
Sark went further in distancing himself from the allegations facing his former assistant saying, "I think this potential allegation could effect not only Tosh's future at USC but moving forward anywhere."