USC escapes postseason ban for involvement in bribery scandal
John McCoy / Getty Images Sport / Getty

USC's men’s basketball program wasn't given significant penalties after former assistant coach Tony Bland was found to have accepted a bribe, violating NCAA ethical conduct rules.

The program avoids a postseason ban while receiving two years of probation and a $5,000 fine plus 1% of the school's men's basketball budget. The NCAA's Division I committee on infractions also accepted USC's series of self-imposed scholarship and recruiting restrictions.

The committee released its ruling Thursday, stating that Bland "accepted a $4,100 bribe from a business management company to influence student-athletes" in July 2017.

The NCAA's decision comes after a plea deal was struck between Bland and authorities following his arrest amid an investigation that the FBI and United States attorney for the southern district of New York launched in September 2017.

Bland was among several assistant coaches from USC, Arizona, Auburn, Louisville, Miami, Oklahoma State, and South Carolina who were investigated for taking bribes from an Adidas executive.

Bland, who joined Andy Enfield's Trojans staff in 2013, pleaded guilty in January 2019 to one felony count of conspiracy to commit bribery.

Oklahoma State was the first program punished during the ongoing investigation after former assistant coach Lamont Evans was implicated for taking bribes.

The Cowboys received a one-year postseason ban in June 2020 that was overturned on appeal. Evans' former employer, South Carolina, was also given two years of probation and other minor penalties.

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USC escapes postseason ban for involvement in bribery scandal
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