USC apologizes to Florida, Alabama, Washington
By RALPH D. RUSSO
AP College Football Writer
Southern California has apologized to Florida, Alabama, Washington,
Oregon and Fresno State for accusing those schools of breaking NCAA
rules by contacting one of the Trojans’ players without permission.
In a letter dated July 1 and addressed to Florida athletic director
Jeremy Foley, USC AD Mike Garrett said freshman running back Dillon
Baxter confirmed to Garrett that the player “did not receive a call
from your institution.”
“I apologize for
any inconvenience or embarrassment this matter has caused to you and
your institution,” Garrett wrote in a hand-signed letter.
The letter to Foley was obtained by The Associated Press. Alabama,
Washington, Oregon, and Fresno State also confirmed Wednesday that
their athletic directors received apology letters from USC.
ESPN.com reported USC filed a complaint with the Pac-10 in June about
several schools tampering with Baxter after the Trojans were hit with
Pac-10 spokeswoman Danette
Leighton told the AP in an e-mail that it was the conference’s policy
not to comment on enforcement matters.
received a two-year postseason ban, a loss of scholarships and was
forced to vacate victories from the 2004 and ’05 seasons for NCAA
violations involving former star tailback Reggie Bush.
Because of the sanctions, USC upperclassmen are allowed to transfer
without the usual NCAA restrictions, but only juniors and seniors can
be contacted by other schools.
coach Lane Kiffin got himself into trouble last year when he was at
Tennessee for unjustly accusing Florida coach Urban Meyer of breaking
NCAA recruiting rules. Kiffin later had to apologize to Meyer and the
Kiffin is in his first year at USC after spending one tumultuous season at Tennessee.
AP Sports Writers Mark Long, Josh Dubow, Tim Booth and John Zenor contributed to this report.
Updated 07/07/10 07:33 pm ET