USC sanctions program over Mayo violations

Southern California is imposing sanctions on its basketball program for violating NCAA rules involving former player O.J. Mayo.

The university’s investigation found rules were violated during Mayo’s one season with the Trojans in 2007-08 under former coach Tim Floyd. Mayo plays for the NBA’s Memphis Grizzlies.

The sanctions announced Sunday call for a one-year ban on postseason play following the current regular season, including the Pacific-10 Conference tournament; a loss of one scholarship for this season and the 2010-2011 season; a loss of one coach permitted to engage in off-campus recruiting during the summer of 2010; and 20 less recruiting days (from 130 to 110) allowed for the 2010-2011 academic year.

The school said that because of Mayo’s involvement with Rodney Guillory, whom under NCAA rules became a USC booster due to his role in Mayo’s recruitment, USC will vacate its 21 victories during the 2007-08 season, when Mayo competed while ineligible.

Floyd abruptly quit in June following allegations that he gave $1,000 in cash to Guillory who helped steer Mayo to the Trojans.


Montgomerie: Woods no longer iconic player

Colin Montgomerie believes Tiger Woods will return from his marital problems to win more majors but says he won’t be the iconic player who dominated golf for the past decade.

Woods has taken an indefinite leave from the game after admitting to infidelity.

Europe’s Ryder Cup captain told BBC Radio in London that he had no doubt Woods would come back and add to his 14 majors, but said his mystique had now gone.

Also: Roger Federer expects to carry his momentum from 2009 into the new year now that the back injury that bothered him last season has fully healed.

The Swiss star lost to Andy Murray, Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic early last year before recovering to win his first French Open title and then Wimbledon for his 15th Grand Slam tournament title to surpass Pete Sampras’ record.

“Last year, I had a problem at the start of the season with my back,” Federer said ahead of the start of the Qatar Open today. “I lost to Murray, Djokovic and Rafa, who got the better of me at the start of the season. But I feel fine now because I have been practicing enough to feel confident of winning.”

Maria Jose Martinez Sanchez and Tommy Robredo each won their singles matches before combining in mixed doubles to give Spain a 3-0 win over the United States at the Hopman Cup in Perth, Australia.

Robredo beat John Isner 6-7 (5), 6-3, 7-6 (4) after Martinez Sanchez gave Spain a 1-0 lead by beating Melanie Oudin, 6-4, 6-4. Martinez Sanchez and Robredo then beat the American pair 6-4, 7-5 to complete the victory.

Sandrine Aubert of France won a women’s World Cup slalom in Zagreb, Croatia, for her second win of the season, and Lindsey Vonn lost her lead in the overall standings after failing to finish.

Aubert posted the fastest second run on the Crveni Spust course to finish in an aggregate of 2 minutes, 0.36 seconds and record her fourth career win.

Vonn, still hampered by a bruised left arm, was 1.71 seconds back after the opening run. That forced her to attack and she missed the 15th gate on her second run.

U.S. half-pipe snowboarder Kevin Pearce remained hospitalized in critical condition in Salt Lake City after sustaining a severe brain injury in a training accident Thursday in Park City.

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