Jarrett Might Have to Sit Out Part of Season

Times Staff Writer

The financial arrangement by which USC receiver Dwayne Jarrett shared an apartment with former quarterback Matt Leinart last season might constitute an NCAA violation and force him to sit out a portion of next season.

Leinart’s father told The Times on Saturday that Jarrett paid only $650 of the $3,866-a-month lease on the upscale apartment. Bob Leinart said his son also paid $650, and he picked up the rest.

Speaking in general terms, Ron Barker, the Pacific 10 Conference associate commissioner for enforcement, said one player’s family is not allowed to pay another player’s expenses “if they don’t have a pattern or a history of doing it. It would have to go back to before they were teammates.”

Leinart is from Santa Ana. Jarrett, who is three years younger, is from New Jersey.


A call to Jarrett’s mother’s home was not returned. Chris Ruffin, an older cousin who lives in Southern California, said he planned to speak with USC officials today.

Penalties for such a violation can vary, but Barker cited a 2000 case involving Arizona basketball player Luke Walton, now with the Lakers.

Bill Walton gave his son and his son’s teammate, Richard Jefferson, airfare and tickets to attend an NBA Finals game.

After the trip was discovered, Jefferson sat out one game and was reinstated after agreeing to pay the estimated value of the gift -- $281 -- to a charity of his choice.

In Jarrett’s case, Bob Leinart said USC officials told him the receiver might have to repay about $10,000.

The Leinarts have said they wanted their son to move into the Medici apartments -- a secured complex up the freeway from campus -- because fans had been showing up at his previous residence nearer to school.

On Sunday, Coach Pete Carroll said: “One guy had resources, the other guy didn’t. [Jarrett] gave what he could. Matt needed somebody to live with him, and [Jarrett] got a good deal.”

The complex offers less expensive apartments and other USC players had lived there, including former quarterback Brandon Hance.


“It’s certainly a nice place, but it’s probably half students,” Hance said. “It’s not like it’s a bunch of billionaire business people living downtown.”

Former punter Tom Malone had visited teammates there.

“It’s pretty much the same prices you get right by school, because there’s no choices and everything is so inflated around campus,” he said.