BUSTED!?: USC Claims Multiple Schools Contacted Five-Star Recruit

Aaron DanielCorrespondent IJune 12, 2010

LOS ANGELES, CA - MAY 01:  Head coach Lane Kiffin looks on during the  USC Trojans spring game on  May 1, 2010 at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum in Los Angeles, California.  (Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)
Stephen Dunn/Getty Images

And you thought it couldn't get any wilder in the college football off season.

According to an ESPN.com report, the University of Southern California has written a letter to the Pac-10 that names five schools that illegally contacted 2010 Five-Star recruit and incoming true freshman running back, Dillon Baxter.

Those five schools are Alabama, Florida, Fresno State Oregon, and Washington.

According to a document reviewed by ESPN's Joe Schad, Baxter told USC's director of compliance, Matt Billings, that the five schools listed illegally contacted him Thursday shortly after sanctions were imposed on the Trojans' football and basketball programs.

Billings then wrote a letter to Pac-10 Associate Commissioner Ron Barker that, according to the ESPN.com report, stated, "I just met with [Baxter] and he told me that he received phone calls from five institutions [June 10th]. All of the institutions asked if he was interested in transferring from USC due to the NCAA decision. Would you please speak with these schools to remind them they cannot speak to this student athlete?"

Due to the NCAA's penalty of a two-year postseason ban for the USC football squad, juniors and seniors were given permission to transfer without the fear of having to sit out a transfer year. However, freshmen and sophomores were not given that option.

Baxter, who was deemed one of the top high school football recruits last year, committed to USC in November. Teams also on his list included Florida and Oregon, but Alabama was not.

Alabama, Florida, Oregon, and Washington have all denied the claims.

"The University of Washington denies any accusation of attempting to contact any current USC football players,'' according to a statement from Washington's sports information department.

Oregon head football coach Chip Kelly was commented as saying that no one from Oregon has talked to Baxter since his official visit in January.

Gentry Estes of the Mobile Press-Register reported that Alabama head coach Nick Saban and most of his coaching staff and support staff were out Thursday afternoon at Saban's charity golf tournament at Old Overton Golf Club in Vestavia Hills, AL.



ESPN.com news services, ESPN's Joe Schad, The Seattle Times' Bob Condotta, Mobile Press-Register's Gentry Estes