Bryce Dixon hasn’t given up his fight to return to USC’s football team.
Dixon, who was reinstated to the school but not the team, may seek a court order next week that could allow him to play football, his attorney, Mark M. Hathaway, said Friday.
Dixon, a tight end, was expelled in May after a USC investigation of alleged sexual misconduct.
However, a Los Angeles Superior Court judge put his expulsion on hold pending further review. USC has restored his athletic scholarship and released his spring grades but will not allow him to represent the school as a student-athlete. Hathaway contends the judge’s ruling restores Dixon’s position at the school, including being able to play football.
Dixon, 19, was investigated for two alleged incidents of misconduct last fall, both involving the same USC female student, who was an athletic trainer. He was cleared of misconduct for an Oct. 9 incident but not for one on Oct. 23.
USC’s response to Dixon’s petition to stay the expulsion, made public Friday, said Dixon was expelled when the university found he had “forcible, non-consensual intercourse.” It said the university conducted “a diligent and impartial investigation, which spanned several months and included, among other things, interviews of five witnesses and a review of photographs of the victim taken the day after the incident showing bruises on her arms and legs.”
USC announced that Dixon would be reinstated to the school, but not the team, on Thursday night. After Friday’s morning practice, Coach Steve Sarkisian said that he backed the school’s action.
“We support the university’s decision,” Sarkisian said. “We want what’s in the best interest of the student-athlete, as well.”
Asked if he was disappointed that Dixon would not rejoin the team, Sarkisian said, “It’s not about disappointment, it’s about supporting the university and their decision. . . . It wouldn’t have been about joy and excitement if he would be here, it’s not about disappointment if he’s not. It is what it is.”
Davis still out
Tailback Justin Davis, the Trojans’ leading returning rusher, has not practiced since the first day of training camp because of a hamstring injury.
Sarkisian said he was not concerned.
“You have a hamstring, the last thing I want is something lingering into mid-September,” he said. “I want that thing 100% strong.”
Senior Tre Madden and freshmen Ronald Jones II, Dominic Davis and Aca’Cedric Ware have been sharing first-team reps.
Sarkisian said Davis was eager to return but would not do so until he was physically sound.
“He wants to be out here but as he’s doing his test it’s not coming back 100% yet, so we’re going to hold him out.”
Linebacker Quinton Powell did not participate in practice because of a concussion suffered this week, Sarkisian said. . . . Former players Mike Williams, Jeff Byers, Oscar Lua and Kyle Matthews attended practice. . . . The Trojans practice Saturday at 2:30 p.m.