Well, that was quick. The NCAA swiftly denied USC's appeal for gradually reduced penalties in light of the good behavior reward it gave Penn State.
Why? According to the NCAA, there's no comparison.
"There is no comparison between USC and Penn State," the NCAA said in a statement issued Friday. "USC's appeal was denied and there is no further consideration being given."
As part of the reduction, the NCAA will give Penn State back five scholarships next year, and the number will increase through 2016-17.
USC was given a 10 scholarship reduction for three seasons when the penalties were imposed in 2010. However, the school appealed, which allowed them to sign a full class in 2011 and essentially delay the penalties a year. Had USC not appealed, 2013 would be the final year of sanctions. Instead, the school will deal with fewer scholarships in 2014 as well.
That appeal was effectively to delay the penalty -- a perfectly legal move. However, when USC did that, they set the path for the future. Of course, they didn't know that Penn State would receive the sanctions that they did. However, it's become clear that even the NCAA realized it initially overstepped on Penn State. But not so much on USC.