USC: Student warned before Baxter ride
Officials from Southern California's athletic department met with the student who provided the golf-cart ride to freshman tailback Dillon Baxter before the incident and told him it was against NCAA rules, according to the school.
Baxter missed USC's 36-7 loss at Oregon State on Saturday night after the contact with Teague Egan, the CEO of 1st Round Enterprises. ESPNLosAngeles.com reported Sunday night that Egan is registered as a contract advisor with the NFL Players Association, and 1st Round Enterprises advertises services for athletes on its website that include contract negotiations and endorsement deals.
A USC spokesman confirmed Sunday night that vice president for athletic compliance David Roberts and senior associate athletic directors Mark Jackson and J.K. McKay met with Egan before Baxter's free ride Thursday and told him cart trips would be against NCAA rules.
Egan told ESPNLosAngeles.com the ride was his mistake and he planned to cooperate with USC.
''As an contract advisor, I have never ever given a player money, anything of monetary value, or extra benefit not afforded to other students or my friends,'' Egan wrote in a statement to the website. ''We did not mean or intend to break any rules, and are truly sorry this instance got blown out of proportion.''
USC was put under significant NCAA sanctions during the summer after a four-year investigation into the athletic department. The NCAA punished the Trojans for extra benefits allegedly provided to Heisman Trophy-winning tailback Reggie Bush by two aspiring sports marketers.
USC is in the first season of a two-year bowl ban and four years of probation. The football program also lost 30 scholarships over the next three years.
Baxter was one of the nation's top recruits last year out of San Diego, also Bush's hometown. His elusive running style and versatility have earned additional comparisons to Bush, though he has flashed that form only sparingly during an inconsistent freshman season during which he acknowledged not always giving his best effort.
He is the Trojans' third-leading rusher with 248 yards and one touchdown, starting one game and emerging as Marc Tyler's primary backup. Baxter also has 11 receptions for 73 yards.
''I don't have anything new on that,'' coach Lane Kiffin said when asked Sunday about Baxter's situation. ''I would anticipate having a lot more information tomorrow when the NCAA offices open up.''
Kiffin reminded his players again ''how everything is so big,'' he said. ''You can't even take a ride in a cart for a block across campus. No matter who it is, whether it's a student or something, you just really can't do anything.''