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USC Football: Dillon Baxter suspended 'to focus on his academics'

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Tailback Dillon Baxter’s USC career took another turn Tuesday when Coach Lane Kiffin announced that the sophomore would not be part of the program while he focuses on academics.

Baxter did not accompany the Trojans last weekend to South Bend, Ind., where USC defeated Notre Dame.

"The decision has been made for Dillon Baxter to focus on his academics.  As he does so, he will not be part of our football program,” Kiffin said in a statement that was released as the Trojans began practice.  “However, we will continue to support him with our academic services department.

"There will be no further comment regarding this from me or any member of our program."

Baxter could not immediately be reached for comment.

Baxter has only nine carries this season and had not played in the two games before Notre Dame. He fell further on the depth chart when Kiffin switched freshman George Farmer from receiver to running back a few weeks ago.

Baxter was absent from an Oct. 16 practice to attend to matters pertaining to the impending birth of a son in January.

Baxter and his family had met with Kiffin earlier this season to discuss his role with the Trojans.

This is the third time Baxter has been suspended. He starred at San Diego Mission Bay High but his freshman season at USC was marked by two suspensions. He gained 252 yards in 59 carries last season and scored one touchdown.

More later at latimes.com/sports.

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-- Gary Klein

Photo: Dillon Baxter runs the ball against Minnesota back in September. Credit: Gary A. Vasquez / US Presswire

 
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