DALLAS (FWAA) – USC's 2004 Grantland Rice Trophy,
awarded to the Trojans for their national football title, will be
revoked and the team barred from consideration for the award following
the 2010 college football season. In addition, the Football Writers
Association of America declined to name a replacement for USC's
USC will remain in the Grantland Rice Trophy 2010 preseason rankings
to be released in the next few days, it has been determined.
These were the conclusions of a majority vote of the Resolutions
Committee comprising current and former FWAA officers formed to
review issues presented by USC's recent NCAA football scandal.
There has never been a prior revocation of a major national collegiate
football championship prior to this year. Citing the June 10, 2010,
NCAA Infractions Report, Tim Griffin, 2010 FWAA President, stated
as follows in his letter notifying USC of the FWAA's decisions:
"Had these facts been known, USC would not have been selected for
the award ... in light of standards applicable to FWAA poll participants,
award candidates and award recipients."
"All finalists for FWAA team and individual awards, including
the Grantland Rice Award and Trophy, reasonably are presumed to
have been in material compliance with certain qualifying standards
at the time of award issuance," the FWAA also noted. While expressly
reserving its right to pick a substitute national champion or award
winner in the future, a majority of the FWAA special committee nevertheless
could not agree on the selection of a replacement for USC with respect
to the 2004 Grantland Rice Award. The spot will be the only vacant
one since the FWAA began awarding the trophy in 1954.
"There was a thorough discussion of all the possible scenarios
involving all the appropriate teams," Griffin said of the 2004 season.
"The FWAA reached a very fair conclusion based on careful consideration
of the strengths of all the teams. We realize there are numerous
opinions on this question.
"Nonetheless, this group – which has more than three collective
centuries of experience covering college football and has members
representing all geographic regions in the nation – came to a decision
we feel best serves the sport."
The 2004 football season produced three undefeated teams after
the bowls. In the final Grantland Rice Poll of the 2004 season,
conducted in January 2005 after all the bowl games were played,
USC (13-0) was No. 1, Auburn (13-0) was No. 2 and Oklahoma (12-1)
was No. 3, after losing to the Trojans in the Bowl Championships
Series national title game. No. 4 Utah (12-0) also went undefeated
during the 2004 season, becoming the first non-BCS conference team
to be invited to a BCS bowl game. The Utes defeated Pittsburgh,
35-7, in the 2005 Fiesta Bowl.
The Football Writers Association of America is an independent,
not-for-profit comprised of nearly 1,200 journalists, broadcasters,
publicists and others with special expertise in college football.
Each year since 1954 the FWAA has awarded the Grantland Rice Award
and Trophy to the national champion for college football as selected
by a panel of FWAA members. The Award was founded in honor of the
legendary Grantland Rice and is the only college football award
reflecting the independent, non-profit and collective views of sports
Comments concerning the FWAA's decisions should be directed to