Top USC football recruit gains release from letter of intent
Southern California released top recruit Seantrel Henderson from his national letter of intent Tuesday, the latest blow to a school reeling from an NCAA scandal.
Henderson, a 6-foot-8-inch, 330-pound offensive tackle from St. Paul, Minn., was one of the most coveted members of coach Lane Kiffin’s first recruiting class.
Kiffin made the announcement and said the move came with "zero penalties and no restrictions."
"Seantrel has been great through the whole process, and we wish him the best of luck with his decision," Kiffin said.
The NCAA recently banned USC from bowl games for two years and imposed severe scholarship restrictions following an investigation surrounding Heisman Trophy-winning tailback Reggie Bush dating to the Trojans’ 2004 national championship.
USC was penalized for a lack of institutional control in the ruling by the NCAA following its four-year investigation. The coach who presided over the alleged misdeeds — Pete Carroll — is now with the Seattle Seahawks.
Henderson had made a televised announcement saying he picked USC over Ohio State, Notre Dame and Florida, but he did not formally commit as the possibility of NCAA sanctions loomed over the Trojans.
Defensive end Malik Jackson also announced he will transfer to Tennessee. The 6-5, 245-pound junior from Los Angeles has two years of eligibility left. He appeared in 13 games last season and had 18 tackles and 3½ sacks.
NCAA rules allow juniors and seniors to transfer without sitting out a season following sanctions.
Also: Georgia promoted Frank Crumley to interim athletic director, though school president Michael Adams said he wants to look outside the university first for a full-time replacement for Damon Evans.
Evans resigned following a DUI arrest last week.
Crumley received the job after working as Evans’ top assistant — executive associate athletic director for finance — since 2007.
"Not to make light of it, but it will be business as usual," Crumley said.
Crumley said Evans’ arrest brought "some surprise and shock" to the athletic department.
"I think it’s sort of shock, but everybody is adjusting and happy to get back to work today. I know I was … to get some normalcy back in it," Crumley said.
Barnes, Love III replace Toms, Kim in British Open field
David Toms withdrew from the British Open to rest an ailing right shoulder, and Anthony Kim formally pulled out as he recovers from thumb surgery.
The Royal & Ancient said they were replaced in the field at St. Andrews by Ricky Barnes and Davis Love III. The tournament begins July 15.
Toms has been coping with a bone spur in his rotator cuff since spring, and he has been trying to get by without surgery. The AT&T National was his fourth straight tournament. His agent, Adam Young, said Toms wanted to wait as long as possible to see how he was feeling, but not so long that it affected the travel of whoever replaced him.
Kim had surgery in May and never planned to play in the Open. He hopes to return a week later at the Canadian Open.
Also: The winner of the 150th British Open will make $1.29 million, about a $60,000 increase from the previous year.
A total purse of $7.3 million will provide the runner-up with $759,000 and $496,000 for third place. Royal and Ancient chief executive Peter Dawson said organizers have taken into account the pound’s weakened position against the dollar and the euro.
Goalie Halak reaches terms on four-year deal with Blues
The St. Louis Blues signed goaltender Jaroslav Halak to a four-year contract, though terms were not announced.
Halak, 25, was acquired from Montreal on June 17 in a surprising trade after his stunning performance in the playoffs. He was 26-13-5 for the Canadiens last season, ranking fourth in the NHL with a .940 save percentage and ninth in goals against average (2.40).
Halak won two Game 7s in the playoffs while helping Montreal, the eighth seed in the Eastern Conference, bounce heavily favored Washington and Pittsburgh. He won three straight games and eliminated the Capitals by stopping 131 of 134 shots.
Also: Two East Coast tracks called off horse racing because of excessive heat.
Philadelphia Park canceled Tuesday’s races, and Belmont Park in New York scrapped today’s card.
The temperature neared 100 degrees at John F. Kennedy Airport near Belmont and was a record 102 in Philadelphia.