USC defensive end flees to Tennessee
Posted: Wednesday, July 7, 2010 5:42 pm
KNOXVILLE (AP) — Southern California junior defensive end Malik Jackson will transfer to Tennessee and be eligible to play for the Volunteers during the 2010 season.
Trojans coach Lane Kiffin said in a statement Tuesday that Jackson was seeking more playing time. Kiffin also said the USC staff wished him the best of luck.
The NCAA is allowing Southern California juniors and seniors to transfer without sitting out a season in the wake of sanctions issued against the Trojans. Jackson, a 6-foot-5, 245-pound native of Van Nuys, Calif., has two years of eligibility left.
Jackson is expected to start summer classes this week at the school that Kiffin bolted from in January after one season as head coach.
His departure was first reported by ESPN.
He appeared in all 13 of USC’s games last season, recording 18 tackles and 3.5 sacks.
The Trojans also 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 330-pound offensive tackle from St. Paul, Minn., was one of the coveted members of coach Lane Kiffin’s first recruiting class.
Kiffin made the announcement Tuesday 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 into the school.
The coach who presided over the alleged misdeeds — Pete Carroll — is now with the Seattle Seahawks in the NFL.
The penalties include the loss of 30 football scholarships over three years and vacating 14 victories in which Bush played from December 2004 through the 2005 season. USC has appealed, arguing the sanctions are too severe and “inconsistent with precedent.”
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’ program.