USC's Williams doubles down, busts

Updated: August 28, 2004, 9:16 AM ET
By Rod Gilmore | ESPN Insider
It should never have come to this for Mike Williams. He should be playing for USC this college football season. He gambled away his collegiate eligibility when he didn't have to do so, however, and the NCAA had no choice but to refuse to reinstate him.

Contrary to the general response to the NCAA's decision -- that Williams was treated unfairly -- that's not the case. Williams knew exactly what he was doing. He was not misled by an obscure rule or faulty interpretation of a rule. Williams chose to violate the rules on amateurism and chose to leave school, and those choices have consequences.

He presented the NCAA with the least sympathetic case possible.

Rod Gilmore

College Football analyst
Rod Gilmore serves as an ESPN studio analyst on SportsCenter and College Football Live, and provides commentary on ESPN's Friday night game telecasts. He writes regularly for ESPN Insider.