If SMU had a legal leg to stand on, they should have taken on the NCAA back when the "death penalty" was imposed.
Seems like they were caught red-handed on a number of severe violations which occured back during the Eric thingyerson / Craig James era of the early 1980s.
So coming out of the death penalty, they were essentially reduced to a start-up program, however they had decent facilities in place. Other schools (UConn, USF, FAU, etc.) have come along since then, and done just fine, due to successful management of their programs.
What's the story with the TV station ? Are they the ones that exposed SMU way back when ? Unless they reported something that was untrue, you'd have to say that SMU is responsible for SMU's situation. Anyway, if you sue somebody, you might get monetary rewards, but that isn't going to fix your football program.
I guess June Jones left Hawaii for more money. Maybe he realized that once Colt Brennan left, Hawaii was due for a setback and he hadn't recruited enough talent to sustain the program. The only way any college coach is going to be highly successful ANYWHERE is to focus hard on recruiting. It'll be interesting to see if Jones can turn this around in about 3 years, or if he is just raking in $$$ rearranging deck chairs on the Titanic.
If long-term, SMU wants to be an FBS program, they do not want to pull out of C-USA and go FCS now. C-USA will replace them, not hold an opening indefinitely. LaTech would jump on a C-USA opening instantly. But maybe SMU is only prepared to function at the FCS level, if so, they could drop down to the Southland, perhaps. ThHey have to think about their other sports, not JUST football, with regard to confrence affiliation....