Saying no to USC was wise move by Riley

2010-06-16T17:00:00Z 2010-06-16T17:49:46Z Saying no to USC was wise move by RileyBy Cliff Kirkpatrick, Gazette-Times Reporter Corvallis Gazette Times

Friends were quick to point out to Oregon State football coach Mike Riley that it was a good thing he didn't take the Southern California job, or it would be him sitting through NCAA sanctions.

The Trojans courted Riley to be their new coach in January when Pete Carroll left for the Seattle Seahawks.

Riley decided to stay with the Beavers and signed a new contract that would keep him in Corvallis for at least 10 years.

"I don't know what to say about that situation, but oh well," Riley said. "I didn't consider (the offer). I just considered I wanted to stay at Oregon State."

USC was hit with a two-year postseason ban and loses 10 scholarships for three seasons from the lack of institutional control because former athletes Reggie Bush and O.J. Mayo accepted improper gifts from outside sports marketers and agents.

Riley supported the NCAA, also speaking as a member of the board of trustees for the American Football Coaches Association.

"I know the NCAA studied this a long time," Riley said. "The timing of all this with their penalties came after a strong movement by the AFCA and NCAA of pulling this back together. Let's study our rules and enforce them. It was a perfect bad storm for USC timing-wise.

"For all of college football, it's really important to remember that we have rules that are going to be enforced and we have to follow the rules. All the meetings I've been to have been strong about the integrity of our game. We have to pull back and stay in the framework."

USC is out of the Pacific-10 Conference title picture for at least two years, but Riley still said the Trojans will be a tough team. Whoever wins the conference title still has to go through them.

"They've been the team to beat in our (conference) for a while," Riley said. "The (Rose Bowl) picture will be difference for a couple years but they will still be strong. I don't think they'll get bad all of a sudden."

USC players are free to transfer to other schools because of the sanctions, but Riley said he's not after any of them. The main reason is because OSU is at its limit of 85 scholarship players for the coming season.

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