USC is imposing sanctions on its Men’s Basketball Team for violating NCAA rules involving former player O. J. Mayo. The university submitted to an internal investigation and found rules were violated during Mayo’s one season with the Trojans in 2007-08. The severe self-imposed sanctions include: 1) One year ban on postseason play, 2) a loss of one scholarship for this season and 2010-11 season, 3) a loss of one coach permitted to engage in off campus recruiting during the summer of 2010, 4) twenty less recruiting days allowed during the 2010-11 academic year, 5) vacation of its 21 victories during the 2007-08 season when Mayo competed, and 6) returning to the NCAA tournament money it received through the PAC-10 in 2008.
Athletic Director, Mike Garrett, said: “When we’ve done something wrong, we have an obligation to do something about it, and that’s exactly what we’re doing here.” I think it is commendable that USC was willing to suffer embarrassment and loss in order to maintain the integrity of its school and basketball program.
I wonder how different your life, my life, and our churches would be if we were that radical in maintaining the integrity and purity of our hearts before God and others. The way USC has handled these violations has caused me to ask several questions about when I violate God’s standards and when the integrity of my heart is at stake:
1. Am I willing to submit my life to a spiritual investigation by the Holy Spirit and God’s word?
2. Am I willing to acknowledge and confess the sins that God’s investigation reveals?
3. Am I willing to change my mind about that sin(s) and realign my behavior to meet God’s standards?
4. What radical inward and outward actions am I willing to take to prove my repentance?
5. What am I willing to lose to prove my repentance and to maintain the integrity and purity of my heart?
What other lessons can we learn from the USC saga? Are there other questions that we can ask to help us maintain integrity and purity of heart before God and others?
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