Can you smell it?

Take a deep breath.

Yes, there it is.

No, not the Mets annual swoon.

No, no, no not the Jets look-at-me braggadocio.

It’s the latest college football scandal(s).

You have a football player accused of attending an agent’s party (a no-no) in South Beach when he said he wasn’t even in Miami (shocking!)

You have head coach Nick Saban of Alabama calling agents “pimps.” (nice!)

But the granddaddy of them all is the University of Southern California being thrown under the bus by its lack of discipline and the oldest excuse in the book:

I /We didn’t know … and if we did, we would have stopped it!

The NCAA has penalized USCmag glass 10x10 That Smell in the Air by taking away scholarships, TV appearances, etc.

Their head-in-the-sand former head coach, Pete Carroll, is now the boss with the Seattle Seahawks. He might as well be in the witness protection program as far as the NCAA is concerned because they’ll never find him – in plain sight.

You have uber running back Reggie Bush, the Heisman Trophy winner, now with a spoiled/soiled reputation. He was taking, sorry, allegedly taking money from a prospective agent while he was still running the Student Body Right/Left at SC.

His parents were living in a home that they did not pay for while taking, sorry, allegedly taking a couple of grand worth of furniture when they moved out. Oh yeah, the furniture wasn’t theirs (allegedly).

Basketballer OJ Mayo took money, sorry allegedly, while playing at SC.

Athletic director Mike Garrett, himself a Heisman Trophy winner at SC, who never saw/heard a thing, was kicked out and replaced by former Trojan QB Pat Haden.

I loved to watch USC back in the day.

We all know what a waste OJ Simpson has become, but he was the best ever running back in college footballmag glass 10x10 That Smell in the Air.

The Trojan names come back to me in a flood: QB Steve Sogge, fullback Sam “Bam” Cunningham, Coaches John McKay and John Robinson and the latest in a line of fine QBs – Carson Palmer, Matt Leinhart and Mark Sanchez.

Now the program is in a shambles.

New head coach, Lane Kiffin, who brings his own baggage to the gridiron, is left with an empty cupboard for at least a few years.

There, now you can really smell it.

It’s what you get when you combine greed, rules bending and the I see nothing … I hear nothing … I do nothing attitude.

Let this be a lesson to all those parents out there that are lucky enough that their young student athlete is good enough to garner a full athletic scholarship, a free ride if you will.

You are what stands between your child becoming well educated and well meaning.

Well educated means even if he or she doesn’t make it to the pros, at least they can earn a living.

Well meaning means they mean well as they sit on your couch waiting for the phone to ring which of course never does.

If you play your cards wrong and the latter happens, that aroma you smell is your child’s stink of failure.

It’s hard to get a good job with that kind of stench on your resume.

Then again, Reggie Bush and OJ Mayo have been/are getting paid.

Yep, it is and will always be about the money.

Well at least Bush can buy a replacement Heisman if he has to give his back to the Heisman Trust.

Maybe he can have a replica made of 24-karat gold.

Just a thought.

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