USC (No. 20*) declared freshman running back Dillon Baxter ineligible immediately after learning on Thursday afternoon that he had contact with a USC student agent, Teague Egan.
He did not make the trip with the team to the Oregon State Beavers game on Saturday night.
Baxter, who has been in and out of the hospital the past few days because of an illness and dehydration, accepted a ride on a golf cart Thursday from a USC student who turned out to be a registered agent.
David Roberts, USC vice president of compliance, confirmed that the agency is 1st Round Enterprises, and former Trojans linebacker (2007-09) Jordan Campbell a is a partner. Egan is the chairman and CEO, according to the agency's Web site. The sports agency has no clients.
USC is checking to see if 1st Round has had additional contact with other USC players. Roberts added, "Obviously we'll take further action this coming week to make sure there are no other contacts between these people and our players. We've advised the players. Lane's been very good about that. We're hoping that's going to be the end of it and that the NCAA will understand that we acted proactively and quickly."
Baxter did not realize Egan was registered as an agent with the NFL Players Association. But, because Baxter asked for the ride because he was ill, the ride was determined to be an extra benefit in violation of NCAA rules.
Athletic Director Pat Haden said, “We’re on probation. We have to play this as close to the vest as we can.” He added, “We are following the letter of the NCAA law.”
USC is working with the NCAA to have Baxter reinstated and has shown that Baxter repaid the value of the ride estimated at less than $10. His status for the remainder of the season is uncertain, but it would appear silly if the NCAA does not clear him quickly.
The Trojans have filed a complaint with the NFL Players Association who issues sports agent licenses, and notified Student Affairs regarding the student’s actions.
Dillon is the third leading rusher on the team with 248 yards in 57 carries for a 4.4 yard average. Head coach Lane Kiffin has previously said that he is “possibly the most talented player on the team.”
USC has no choice but to follow the “letter of the law” with the NCAA after being hammered with the most football sanctions since the SMU death penalty. The NCAA made an example of the Trojans using mistakes and unprecedented findings to justify the severe punishments.
The NCAA explanations for the most severe sanctions are ridiculous as discussed in USC Football: Trojans Sanction Appeal is Rigged Like NCAA Sanctions and USC Football: 10 Reasons the NCAA Should Drop Trojans’ Second-Year Bowl Ban.
It is clear that the NCAA’s unfair treatment of USC forced the school to take the unprecedented action of declaring an athlete ineligible for accepting a ride of a golf cart even though he was sick.
USC now has the largest compliance staff in the country.
The NCAA must be happy with the results of their inconsistent sanctions, which showed USC and the rest of the country that the NCAA can do anything they want regardless of precedent including vague new rules applied retroactively.
But, Dillon Baxter can’t seem to catch a break.
*Week 12 AP Poll
November 22, 2010 update from ESPN: USC: Student/agent warned
December 3, 2010 update from Orange County Register: USC student Egan has agent certification revoked