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Rule May Have Been Violated

Times Staff Writers

USC is among dozens of schools that may have violated NCAA rules recruiting Jimmy Clausen, a highly regarded quarterback from Westlake Village Oaks Christian High.

Clausen is a junior, and NCAA contact rules prohibit colleges from sending recruits written material other than a standard questionnaire until Sept. 1 of their junior year. USC is among the schools that jumped the gun with Clausen.

USC is expected to self-report a secondary infraction of the NCAA contact rule.

“We’re aware of it and handling it internally,” USC spokesman Tim Tessalone said Tuesday.

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In most cases, a secondary infraction does not prevent a school from recruiting a particular athlete.

Clausen has been considered a top national recruit since he entered high school in 2003. He passed for 58 touchdowns and led Oaks Christian to a 14-0 record last season.

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Hawaii Coach June Jones, who will face top-ranked USC in the season opener on Saturday, said that based on physical talent, the Trojans “might be the best offensive team I have ever seen.”

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Jones and defensive coordinator Jerry Glanville both coached in the NFL. According to Jones, numerous members of USC’s offense are bound for the league.

“We think that every one of their 11 starters will play in the NFL, and probably two or three deep at running back will play in the NFL,” Jones said.

Asked whether he thought it was unfair that Glanville had to face the Trojans in his return to coaching, Jones said: “He told me the other day that he hoped [USC] didn’t bring Trevor because he might die of exhaustion.”

Presumably, Glanville or Jones was referring to USC’s equine mascot, Traveler, who gallops along the sideline after touchdowns by the Trojans.

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USC Coach Pete Carroll on Glanville, whose sartorial color of choice in the past was basic black: “I’ve always admired him. Not necessarily the way he dressed.” ... Quarterback Matt Leinart said he would not be nervous when the Trojans take the field at Aloha Stadium on Saturday. “I’m just ready to go,” he said. “We’ve been practicing for a month now against each other and we just want to go hit some other guys.”


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