The suspension of USC tailback Dillon Baxter, resulting from a golf cart ride the freshman accepted from a fellow student who is a registered agent, continued to reverberate Monday with the school responding to Internet reports that included photographs of Trojans players taken at parties sponsored by the student.
Baxter was declared ineligible for last week's game at Oregon State because he accepted a ride on campus from other USC students, one of whom was Teague Egan, chairman of 1st Round Enterprises. The school is awaiting a ruling on its appeal to the NCAA for Baxter's reinstatement.
Current players Chris Galippo, Malcolm Smith, Shareece Wright, C.J. Gable and Daniel Harper appear in the photos that caused USC to respond.
Dave Roberts, USC's vice president for compliance, said in a statement that "reports about USC student-athletes attending a May 2009 party allegedly sponsored by an NFL player agent and his affiliated company are untrue.
"USC's investigation conducted today revealed that USC student-athletes attended parties in May and September of 2009. One or both of the parties were allegedly put on by a USC student or his affiliated company; however, that student did not become an NFL agent until October of 2010.
"Both parties were open to all USC students. Our investigation revealed that USC student-athletes who attended the functions paid the same posted cover and refreshment charges that were paid by all attendees."
Roberts said Saturday that Baxter told USC officials he knew the students who gave him a ride but denied knowing that Egan was an agent.
Roberts confirmed Monday that Egan had come to the attention of USC officials a week before the incident involving Baxter and that he been told not to provide transportation or other benefits to USC athletes. USC's awareness of Egan prior to the Baxter incident was first reported by ESPNLosAngeles.com.
Former USC linebacker Jordan Campbell, who transferred to Louisville, had been listed as an executive for 1st Round, but his photo and biography have since been removed from the company's website. So have the photo and bio of Fred Fenster, an attorney and adjunct professor at USC who had been listed as an advisor.
Egan did not respond to an e-mail sent to his company's website. Fenster could not be reached for comment, but he told neontommy.com, "I don't know why I'm on their website. I know Teague formed a number of companies, but I don't know anything about them."
Coach Lane Kiffin confirmed that freshman receiver Markeith Ambles was no longer on the team. Ambles had been suspended a few weeks ago. He had rejoined the Trojans but was absent from practices last week. Kiffin declined to specify why Ambles was no longer part of the program. Ambles could not be reached for comment. "We wish him and his family the best of luck," Kiffin said.