Local Recruit Tied to USC Apologies - NBC 7 San Diego

Local Recruit Tied to USC Apologies



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    Running back Dillon Baxter #28 carries the ball during the USC Trojans spring game on May 1, 2010.

    The USC football program received another embarrassing blow -- this time caused by a former Mission Bay High School football star.

    Last month, after the NCAA hit the Trojans with devastating penalties for major rule violations, Dillon Baxter told the school he was contacted by five other universities to see if he was interested in transferring. Baxter, a former Mission Bay standout, is a member of USC's incoming freshman class.

    NCAA rules prohibit other schools from talking to incoming freshman in that situation, so USC reported the five schools -- Florida, Alabama, Washington, Oregon and Fresno State -- to PAC-10 officials. One problem: It seems Baxter fibbed.

    USC Athletic Director Mike Garrett wrote letters to all five schools apologizing, according to the Associated Press.

    "I apologize for any inconvenience or embarrassment this matter has caused to you and your institution," USC athletic director Mike Garrett wrote in the hand-signed letter to Florida athletic director Jeremy Foley.

    Alabama, Washington, Oregon, and Fresno State confirmed to AP Wednesday that their respective athletic directors also received apology letters from USC.

    It's unclear if Baxter was looking for a way out of his USC commitment due to the NCAA penalties. Incoming freshmen can only transfer to other schools without penalty if released from their scholarship by USC. Seantrel Henderson, the school's top recruit, wasreleased from his scholarship earlier this week.

    Baxter ran for 2,984 yards on 261 carries for Mission Bay High last season. According to MaxPreps.com, he has drawn comparisons to Reggie Bush and could see immediate playing time for the Trojans this fall.