Just as C.L. Max Nikias was about to assume the responsibilities as the University of Southern California’s president in 2010, the university was reeling from NCAA sanctions levied against its athletic program.
Citing a lack of institutional control and unethical conduct, the NCAA erased the accomplishments of nine years — two national football titles, a winning basketball season — with four years of penalties and the loss of millions of dollars.
Faced with angry alumni and a scornful public, Nikias managed to settle the crisis with calls for more transparency and tougher ethical standards.
Eight years later, the lack of transparency and attention to ethical standards led to Nikias’ departure.
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