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

NCAA sanctions.

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.

USC

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.

New USC

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

Gators.

Kiffin is in his first year at USC after spending one tumultuous season at Tennessee.

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AP Sports Writers Mark Long, Josh Dubow, Tim Booth and John Zenor contributed to this report.

Updated 07/07/10 07:33 pm ET