USC to Florida: Hope we didn’t embarass you…

By Adam Silverstein
July 7, 2010

On June 11, USC Trojans and director of compliance Matt Billings contacted Pac-10 associate commissioner for governance and enforcement Ron Barker and accused five programs – including the Florida Gators – of illegally contacting sophomore running back Dillon Baxter about transferring from Southern California after the school was hit with a variety of program-wide penalties by the NCAA.

Less than a month later, the New York Times’ Pete Thamel reports that Trojans athletic director Mike Garrett sent a letter to the Gators apologizing for the previous accusations. Specifically, Garrett tried to make amends for “any inconvenience or embarrassment” the allegations caused Florida, admitting that Baxter told him he did not speak to UF.

USC had also previously slandered Alabama, Oregon, Washington and Fresno State.

The Mobile Press-Register is also reporting that the Crimson Tide received a the same apology letter from Garrett, dated July 1. ESPN has learned that the Huskies and Ducks have also been sent letters. The generic message sent to each respective athletic director read as follows:

This comes after the school sent an e-mail to the Pac-10 last month.

“I just met with (Baxter) and he told me that he received phone calls from five institutions (June 10th),” Billings originally wrote to Barker. “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?”

When asked for proof the communications took place, Baxter told Billings he had lost his cell phone and was unable to provide further specifics or documentation.

Florida associate athletics director for communications Steve McClain immediately denied the accusation in early June, as did representatives from Alabama and Oregon.

UPDATE: The Orlando Sentinel spoke with the Gators’ own senior associate athletic director of compliance – Jamie McCloskey, who told the paper that coaches “knew the rules,” insinuating that “normally the process would not be through the media.”

“Our coaches understood the process and who to contact,” he added. “They were upset that someone would make that allegation and feel that they have to respond to it.”

Image of the letter courtesy of ESPN affiliate Gator Country.

20 Comments

  1. GATOR CREW says:

    What a load of crap!!! Dillon Baxter and USC falsely accuse the Gators and that’s all that happens????

  2. GATOR CREW says:

    BTW, if you don’t have freaking proof, then you don’t go public with such an accusation…..I’m sure he “lost” his phone! Hey Dillon, we can get that info from the phone company. Nice, you lie just like your sorry butt coach….glad you didn’t come to Fla, your not Gator quality

  3. Sarasota 'cane says:

    USC is in complete tailspin mode right now!!! It looks like the #1 recruit in the country is goin to sign with UM now that he has his release from Kiffin. A DE from USC just signed with Tenn. of all places! UCLA must be licking their chops right now!! It couldn’t be happening to a nicer coach! Ain’t karma a byotch?

  4. ReptilesRule says:

    What do you expect from any program who would hire Lyin’ Lane?? I think it should be required that any program that he goes to has to apologize to UF. They should just issue a blanket statement the day they hire him…”we apologize to Florida that we have officially hired Lane Kiffin”. I see they are still getting recruits though, including one right out of Florida….I mean, how smart do you have to be???……

  5. armygator says:

    Near the beginning of the article, it states that USC AD Mike Garrett admitted that Baxter told him he did not speak to UF, but later it states that Baxter told Billings he had lost his cell phone and was unable to provide further specifics or documentation. Which story is it?

  6. Have to ask Baxter, ha.

  7. Drew 4 Orange & Blue says:

    There has to be consequences to false allegations…not just sorry…and of course with Henderson jumping off USC’s train that would clearly give us the top class as it should have been all along

  8. O-town Gator says:

    Hey Kiffykins and USC: Take your excuses – AND your lame apology – and shove them straight up your ass.

  9. Charles says:

    Come now Baxter, you know I don’t speak spanish

  10. Charles says:

    I don’t expect anything less from Lame Kitten, his envy of successful coaches drives his foot to insert in mouth, and apparently it’s contagious. He had the AD at Tennessee sounding bass ackwards too.

  11. Drew 4 Orange & Blue says:

    UT is paying for their mistake hiring and putting up with Lane and his antics….in turn after he left them at the alter they had to go out and be safe with the next hire…..maybe it works out for them but if it dosn’t they have no one to blame but themselves

  12. John Shanks says:

    Garrett – a true class act. Evans is out at UGA yet this man keeps his job.

  13. G8R8U2 says:

    That’s pretty lame… if you go public with accusation and make a production out of it, then you need to man up and admit you were wrong publicly and make an equal production out of your retraction. Of course, we’re dealing with a program whose AD is second only to UGA’s in embarrassing his employer; so I guess we shouldn’t expect much in the way of honor, accountability, or humility.

  14. O-town Gator says:

    Drew, I agree with you. Derek Dooley hasshown that he intends to conduct himself with a bit of decorum after Kiffykins’ shenanigans left a bad impression on their program; it’s hard to tell how they’ll do during yet another transition year.

    Let Lame Kitten keep digging his hole even deeper. He’s only making himself look even more and more ridiculous. He continues to burn his bridges behind him, and he won’t learn his lesson until it’s too late.

    To paraphrase what George Santayana once said, those who fail to learn from the past are comdemned to repeat it. As I’ve said before, let Kiffykins and USC reap what they sow. They get no sympathy from me.

  15. matt says:

    So I guess it was just coincidence that the kid accused the two programs that beat USC last year (Oregon and Washington) and the two teams that are obviously the biggest national threats two USC (See last two national championships). I am not sure what they have against Fresno State but I am sure something is there because this kid is obviously a proxy for Lane’s attempt to divert negative attention by casting dispersions on those who threaten him most.

  16. O-town Gator says:

    Matt, Fresno State is where Kiffykins went to school and played football, but didn’t amount to diddly-squat.

  17. Mr2Bits says:

    Adam : Any inside info on where Henderson is heading now that he gave Kiffin the finger?

  18. Mr2Bits says:

    Thats what I thought, just presumed he stay in LA.

  19. Mr2Bits says:

    FYI, got my pro-glide the other day and tell your Gillette partners I said thanks. Definitely the best razor I’ve uses to date!

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