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College Football | USC REPORT

Fargas to Ask for a Sixth Year

November 02, 2002|Gary Klein | Times Staff Writer

Though his chances of receiving it are remote, USC running back Justin Fargas said he would seek a sixth year of eligibility from the NCAA.

"I'm definitely going to do it," said Fargas, a fifth-year senior transfer from Michigan who gained 139 yards in his first start last week against Oregon.

Fargas does not appear to meet the criteria the NCAA requires for extending a player's eligibility clock. Athletes have five years of eligibility to complete four seasons of competition.

An NCAA representative said the rare waivers are granted when athletes miss two seasons of competition within a five-year period because of extraordinary circumstances beyond the control of the athlete or institution. Waivers must be requested by an institution on behalf of an individual.

USC fullback Malaefou MacKenzie, for example, missed his sophomore season in 1998 because of a knee injury suffered in the opener against Purdue. He did not play last season because of injuries and the death of his father. Last spring, USC petitioned on his behalf and he was granted an extra season of eligibility.

Redshirt seasons and seasons lost because of transferring, however, are regarded as being within the control of the athlete or institution.

Fargas missed only one season because of injury. He played 10 games at Michigan during his freshman season in 1998 before suffering a broken leg that forced him to miss the 1999 season. He played running back, safety and on special teams in 2000, then transferred to USC before the Wolverines played in the 2001 Citrus Bowl.

He sat out last season because of NCAA transfer rules.

Antonio Fargas, Justin's father, acknowledged that receiving an extra year was a longshot. He said he and his son would meet with USC officials after the season to consider the options. USC would have to be convinced that Fargas' case had merit.

"It may be an exercise in futility, but it may be an exercise we have to take," Antonio Fargas said.

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With a weekend off because of a bye, some players are staying close to home, others boarded planes to visit family out of state and a few intended simply to get away and relax.

Most, however, plan to watch all or part of today's Pacific 10 Conference game between No. 8 Washington State and No. 16 Arizona State, each 4-0 in conference play. The 11th-ranked Trojans, who suffered their only Pac-10 loss at Washington State on Oct. 5, need Arizona State to win today to keep alive their Rose Bowl hopes.

USC will play at Stanford on Nov. 9 and will be host to Arizona State on Nov. 16.

"I'm Arizona State's biggest fan this week," USC quarterback Carson Palmer said.

This is the latest in the season the Trojans have been ranked in the Associated Press poll since 1995, the last year they won the Pac-10 title. After that, they went six seasons without being ranked during the second half of the schedule.

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USC's awards banquet will be Dec. 9 at the Regent Beverly Wilshire Hotel in Beverly Hills. Tickets are $75. Information: (213) 740-4155.... Ambrose Schindler, who led USC to a 14-0 victory in the 1940 Rose Bowl, has been chosen for the Rose Bowl Hall of Fame. He will be inducted in a ceremony at the Rose Bowl kickoff luncheon in Pasadena on Dec. 31.

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Times staff writer Rob Fernas contributed to this report.

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