Receiver Donte Stallworth should have his eligibility reinstated, despite violating two NCAA rules after declaring himself available for the NFL draft for one day, Tennessee officials told the NCAA.
In a letter dated Jan. 16 and obtained by the Associated Press on Thursday, the university disclosed Stallworth received nearly $1,300 in benefits from an agent after declaring himself available for the draft.
The NCAA has not yet responded to Tennessee's appeal.
Stallworth, a junior, sent the NFL on Jan. 10 a petition to make himself eligible for the draft early. He changed his mind the next day, and the NFL withdrew his name from the underclassmen draft list before the Jan. 11 deadline.
By making himself available, Stallworth's eligibility was immediately revoked under NCAA bylaws even though his name was withdrawn.
During those hours his petition remained in effect at the NFL office, Memphis agent Jimmy Sexton bought Stallworth $13.60 in FedEx postage, a $48.60 dinner for two, a $6 ride to the airport, a one-day rental car for $151.92 and a $980 one-way airfare from California to Tennessee for his brother, the letter said.
The university's letter states Sexton has been repaid but doesn't detail how or when.
Stallworth and the university maintained the player didn't sign a deal to make Sexton his agent and received all the benefits before the Jan. 11 draft deadline. Sexton did not immediately return calls seeking comment.
Stallworth has not spoken to reporters since his draft announcement. His mother, Donna, a nurse in Sacramento, declined to comment when reached.
Because Stallworth was technically no longer an amateur when he received the benefits, no NCAA rule was intentionally violated, Malcolm C. McInnis, the university's associate athletic director for compliance, wrote to the NCAA.
Tailback Malaefou MacKenzie and wide receiver Marcell Allmond, who dropped out of USC last fall, have re-enrolled in school.
The school also announced that fullback Brandon Hancock, punter Tom Malone and wide receiver Jason Mitchell have enrolled for the spring semester and will participate in spring practice.
North Carolina Coach John Bunting, who led the Tar Heels to a victory in the Peach Bowl in his first season, received a contract extension and a raise.
North Carolina's board of trustees approved the deal extending Bunting's contract through the 2007 season and he received a $100,000 increase, raising his annual salary to $260,000.
UEFA President Lennart Johansson increased pressure on FIFA President Sepp Blatter to open an internal investigation of the world soccer body's finances.
Johansson said there were too many questions still unanswered despite a recent independent study of FIFA's financial situation.
Johansson has been one of the leading critics of Blatter, especially since FIFA lost more than $30 million after the collapse of its former marketing partner ISL.
Dutch defender Jaap Stam, who plays for Lazio of Rome, was suspended for five months by the Italian League for testing positive for the banned steroid Nandrolone.
Spanish midfielder Josep Guardiola, who plays for Brescia, was suspended for four months for the same reason.
Freestyle aerialist Emily Cook, the top American qualifier in her sport, will miss the Olympics because of a pair of dislocated bones in her left foot.
Cook injured herself jumping at an Olympic qualifying competition in Lake Placid, N.Y., last week.
The 22-year-old jumper was selected to the Olympic team pending exams by doctors, but after two exams this week, she was told she would not be ready to jump by Feb. 16, when the women's aerials begin in Park City, Utah.
Chris Klug took a big step in his comeback from a liver transplant when he clinched a spot on the U.S. Olympic snowboard team.
Klug, who had the transplant in July 2000, was the second-fastest American in qualifying for the parallel giant slalom race at Kreischberg, Austria, in the final event before the Olympic team is chosen. The second-place finish was good enough to land him a spot in Salt Lake City.
Klug was diagnosed with a rare liver disease almost seven years before the transplant. His disease is called Primary Schlerosing Cholangitis, the same illness that killed Walter Payton.
Also earning a spot on the Olympic team was Peter Thorndike. He and Klug join Jeff Greenwood, who clinched his spot much earlier.
Track and Field
The Italian Athletics Federation upheld a two-year doping suspension of Andrea Longo, rejecting the 800-meter specialist's appeal.
Jon Drummond, a member of the U.S. gold-medal winning 400-meter relay team at the 2000 Sydney Olympics, will run the 55-meter dash at the 42nd Annual L.A. Invitational indoor meet on Feb. 23 at the Sports Arena.
Louisville Coach Lelo Prado was chosen coach of the USA Baseball national team. Prado will coach this summer, including the world championships in Italy in August.