USC AD Pat Haden asks NCAA for relief from sanctions

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USC athletic director Pat Haden has pulled a dramatic about-face, disclosing two days of meetings with the NCAA in an attempt to have scholarship reductions from the Reggie Bush case overturned.

Haden met with President Mark Emmert and others from the NCAA at its headquarters in Indianapolis on Wednesday and Thursday, though the focus of the previously scheduled meetings changed dramatically after Tuesday's announcement that the governing body of college athletics would restore scholarships taken away from Penn State in the Jerry Sandusky case.

"After learning of the NCAA's actions on Tuesday regarding Penn State and the lessening of the sanctions that were imposed on that institution, when viewed in the context of the events that have shaken intercollegiate athletics over the past year, we felt compelled to discuss USC's sanctions in a new light," Haden said in a statement.

"We proposed creative 'outside the box' solutions to the scholarship issues resulting from the injuries and transfers experienced by our football team over the past three seasons. After candid discussions, the NCAA asked us to provide additional information and indicated it would study our suggestions. Because time is of the essence regarding these issues, we have asked for the NCAA's response as soon as practical."

Haden was lambasted by USC fans after announcing Tuesday that the school would not seek a reduction in penalties, which limit the football program to having 75 players on scholarship through the 2014 season and signing 15 recruits to letters of intent in the Class of 2014. FBS schools are allowed to have 85 players on scholarship and can sign 25 recruits.

Follow Dan Greenspan on Twitter @DanGreenspan.

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