Cruz has been tasked with returning the Trojans to the national power they were for more than half a century under Rod Dedeaux and Mike Gillespie, but it is being investigated by the university whether he push the players too hard toward that goal. USC will be investigating whether Cruz went over the NCAA’s mandated number of hours student-athletes are allowed to participate.
Coaches are only allowed to make 20 hours of supervised athletic activity mandatory while a sport is in season and only eight hours a week when a sport is out of season. Players are also required to have one day off every week (Monday is most often taken off by baseball teams) during the season and in the offseason, two days per week can’t have activity scheduled for the players.
Players are free to spend more time lifting weights, conditioning, watching film, hitting in the cages, etc. But that time can not be required by the coaching staff.
USC has suspended Cruz pending the results of the school’s investigation.
“We take any potential NCAA infraction seriously,” USC Athletic Director Pat Haden said in a press release. “USC Vice President for Athletic Compliance Dave Roberts and his staff will investigate whether the baseball program exceeded the allowable CARA hours, and will do so diligently and expeditiously. Pending the results of the investigation, we have suspended Coach Cruz from all coaching duties.”
Associate head coach and pitching coach Dan Hubbs will take over as the interim head coach. The Trojans are set to open the season next Friday at Cal State Fullerton.