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USC basketball: Leonard Washington dismissed from team, sources say

The sophomore forward, who missed part of this season because of academic ineligibility, is expected to transfer to another school.

March 19, 2010|By Baxter Holmes

USC sophomore forward Leonard Washington has been dismissed from the team and is looking to transfer, sources close to the situation told The Times on Friday.

The sources spoke on the condition of anonymity because Washington has not yet been granted his official release. That announcement is expected soon.

According to the sources, Washington was dismissed March 7 after the team returned from Arizona, where its season had ended the day before. Washington was told that afternoon that he would not be returning to the team, primarily because of his poor attitude, the sources said.

It was widely believed that Washington would leave the team at the end of the season, but the news of his dismissal still caught him off guard, the sources said.

After missing the first 10 games of the season because he was academically ineligible, Washington joined the team Dec. 23 against St. Mary's. He averaged 6.2 points and 4.4 rebounds in his final 20 games. Midway through the season and for unknown reasons, he stated he would "never talk to the media again. I'll pay fines in the NBA if I have to."

Reached by phone Friday, Washington declined to comment. He is expected to transfer, but it is unclear which schools he might consider.

One possible scenario involves the coach who recruited him to USC, Tim Floyd. Neworleans.com reported Wednesday that according to a source, Floyd, who is currently an assistant coach with the New Orleans Hornets, interviewed for the open head coaching position at Louisiana Lafayette. (Floyd did not immediately return phone calls.) That report stated that school officials requested information from the NCAA on Floyd's status, as it has been alleged that he once paid the advisor to former USC player O.J. Mayo. Floyd appeared before the NCAA Committee on Infractions in February at a hearing involving the nearly four-year investigation into allegations of major NCAA rules violations at USC.

baxter.holmes@latimes.com

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