Dillon Baxter, an incoming USC freshman, is a running back/wide receiver hybrid who's inspired optimism among USC fans. And as a freshman, teams aren't allowed to initiate contact with him. However, Baxter himself told his compliance department that once the penalties leveled at USC came to light, five different schools contacted him.
In a series of tweets on Friday evening, ESPN's Joe Schad reported:
USC RB Dillon Baxter has told his compliance dept that five schools illegally contacted him June 10
USC says Dillon Baxter was contacted illegally by Florida, Oregon, Washington, Alabama and Fresno
USC has asked Pac-10 to contact accused schools
According to Schad, Florida denies the accusation.
Even if some or all of these schools are cleared of wrongdoing, the report on its own could spark plenty of animosity. Baxter is already valued by the coaching staff and fans alike, and given Trojan football's gloomy prospects over the next couple of years, Baxter's departure certainly would have been a blow. Our USC blog, Conquest Chronicles, had this to say about Baxter in early May:
Dillon Baxter was the star of the scrimmage as he made a couple of "crowd-pleasers" including a 58-yard run in which he flashed several spin moves and jukes. That really pumped up the crowd to where fans behind me said he was going to be "the next Reggie". I don't know if Baxter will be that, but he demonstrated today that he was the top all-purpose back freshman tailback in the nation.
For more on this story, and all things USC, be sure to check back with Conquest Chronicles.