James H. Zumberge, president of the University of Southern California, said yesterday the sanctions imposed on his school's football team were "unreasonable, inequitable and wholly unjustified for the number and nature of infractions involved.
"We also believe that the severity of the penalties reflects a measure of vindictiveness that is shocking for an organization with the stature of the NCAA."
Zumberge said the school is exploring legal options.
The NCAA penalized USC Friday by putting it on probation, banning the team from all bowls for 1982-83 and 1983-84 and banning television appearances during the 1983 and 1984 seasons.
"The penalties have been imposed on a university which had not been before the Infractions Committee in 23 years, which had cooperated fully with the enforcement committee division in every one of the allegations and which had taken early corrective action of its own," the president said.
Basically, the NCAA charged that Assistant Coach Marv Goux had sold tickets issued to players for more than face value.
"The university believes Marv Goux is fundamentally a man of integrity," Zumberge said. "Ethical standards often come into conflict. By beginning to sell players' tickets he chose compassion and a chance to meet the severe financial needs of some students over the responsibility to uphold NCAA prohibitions against selling player tickets."
Zumberge said the investigation indicated that neither Athletic Director Richard Perry nor Coach John Robinson were cognizant of the ticket sales.
"Based on the loss of just three television appearances the NCAA penalties amount to a fine against the university of at least $891,000," Zumberge said. "If the number of lost television games is more than three, there would be a corresponding increase in lost revenue amounting to well over $1 million."