Oakland Raiders coach Jack Del Rio is not a fan of the discipline handed down against the New England Patriots and quarterback Tom Brady in the Deflategate scandal, likening it to the heavy sanctions received by his alma mater, Southern California, in the NCAA's Reggie Bush investigation.

"I think there are some similarities in terms of an overreaction, from my standpoint,'' Del Rio said Saturday, prior to the former All-America linebacker's induction into the USC Athletics Hall of Fame. "I think it was a little bit overdone, but that's somebody else's problem right now.''

As a result of sanctions issued by both USC and the NCAA, the Trojan athletic program received some of the harshest penalties ever meted out to a Division 1 program. The football team was forced to vacate the final two wins of its 2004 national championship season, as well as all of its wins in 2005. It was also banned from bowl games in both 2010 and 2011 and was docked 30 scholarships over three years. The Football Writers Association of America announced it would no longer recognize the Trojans as its 2004 national champion. In June 2011, the Bowl Championship Series stripped the Trojans of the 2004 BCS title. Reggie Bush is the first person in the Heisman Trophy's history to give his trophy back to the Heisman Trust, and the 2005 season is the only one in the award's history for which there is no winner.

Who could ever imagined the New England Patriots and Oakland Raiders being on the same page? The two teams have been at odds since the 1976 playoff game when referee Ben Dreith called a roughing-the-passer penalty on Patriots' DT Ray "Sugar Bear" Hamilton. The Patriots returned the favor in 2002 when referee Walt Coleman reached into the NFL rule book, invoking the Tuck Rule. This negated CB Charles Woodson's sack of QB Tom Brady, and the fumble recovery by LB Greg Biekert.

The fight between Patriots' general manager Pat Sullivan and Raiders' LB Matt Miller following the 1986 AFC playoff game only added to the animosity between the teams.

There is a rush to judgment when dealing with the heavyweights. USC and the New England Patriots were deemed guilty in the eyes of the public, thus the penalties must be severe. In the USC case, running backs coach Todd McNair has a defamation suit pending against the NCAA. Patriots' owner Robert Kraft is pondering possible legal action against the NFL. Bob would be the second owner to sue the league. The first to do so was Oakland Raiders' owner Al Davis who waged a 21 year battle with the National Football League.

Seattle Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll attended the USC banquet along with Jack Del Rio. Pete was quite critical of the NCAA. He claims the investigation was not done properly. As for DeFlateGate, Pete had a different tune than Jack Del Rio.

"Nobody wants to play this game thinking that somebody has some kind of advantage, players and fans alike, and so they did the right thing in following up on it,'' Pete Carroll said.

Nobody should leave before the NCAA sanctions were delivered, either. Catching the last train out of Dodge before the hammer was brought down on USC and Reggie Bush was cowardly. I would call that a competitive advantage too, Pete.

Paul Murphy is a freelance writer from New Hampshire. .

Follow me on Twitter at @_prmurphy

For more of my articles, click here.

Paul Murphy 5/18/2015 01:01:00 PM Edit

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