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USC football: Report says Dillon Baxter hoaxed coaches into thinking he was improperly recruited

August 23, 2010 |  2:53 pm

USC freshman running back Dillon Baxtersuspended for the season opener for violating team rules, has repeatedly declined to comment about a June incident that required former athletic director Mike Garrett to send letters of apology to five schools.

Shortly after the NCAA handed down sanctions against USC, a school compliance official sent a letter to the Pacific 10 Conference alleging that Florida, Alabama, Washington, Oregon and Fresno State had improperly contacted Baxter. The schools denied the allegations, and Garrett later sent letters of apology to their athletic directors.

ESPN.com's Shaun Assael, through a Freedom of Information Act request, obtained a letter signed by Baxter that was dated June 24, 2010, and was included with Garrett's letter of apology. Baxter said in his letter that he had not been contacted by the schools.

In the short letter, Baxter explains that he talked to friends at Florida, Michigan, Alabama and Fresno State on the day the sanctions were announced.

"We discussed what I wanted to do and how I felt about the sanctions," Baxter wrote. "From that point, the situation got blown out of proportion."

Baxter wrote that he went to receivers coach John Morton's office and said that other schools had contacted him.

"The fact are not such. I was not contacted by other schools but it was me talking to my friends about what I was going to do," Baxter wrote.

He added: "I am truly sorry for all of the chaos I have caused and it was not my intention to implicate other schools and their coaching staffs. I realize my actions do not represent how I was raised and the type of person I am. I would like everyone to know that I will do a better job thinking before I act."

-- Gary Klein

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