Receiver Jarrett reinstated by NCAA for USC's opener

Updated: August 10, 2006, 9:33 AM ET
Associated Press

LOS ANGELES -- The NCAA reinstated Dwayne Jarrett's eligibility on Wednesday, so the USC All-American wide receiver will not miss any games for the Trojans.

Jarrett, a junior, was declared ineligible earlier this summer because he did not pay full rent on an off-campus apartment he had shared with teammate Matt Leinart. Leinart's father paid the balance of the rent.

Leinart, the 2004 Heisman Trophy winner, completed his eligibility at the school last season and was taken 10th by the Arizona Cardinals in this year's NFL draft.

The NCAA ruled that Jarrett must pay $5,352 to a charity of his choice for extra benefits that included discounted rent on the apartment.

"Mr. Jarrett made a mistake, and we believe that had he known he was required to pay his full share of the rent for the apartment, he would not have chosen to live there," Jennifer Strawley, NCAA director of membership services and student-athlete reinstatement, said in a statement.

"Reinstatement is a delicate balance of addressing the benefit or competitive advantage gained with student-athlete well being. In this instance, requiring some level of repayment was a fair and reasonable outcome given the specific facts."

Jarrett lived with Leinart for 13 months in an apartment that cost $3,866 a month. Jarrett paid $650 a month toward the rent and did not pay any utilities.

The NCAA is requiring him to give to charity the full value of his $960 monthly housing stipend, minus what he already paid in rent, plus half the cost of utilities for the time he lived in the apartment.

His total benefit while he lived in the apartment was calculated to be $18,001.

"I'm glad this is finally behind me," Jarrett said. "I felt all along that this would be resolved as it has been. I believe the conditions of the reinstatement imposed by the NCAA are fair.

"I'm now looking forward to continuing our preparations for the 2006 season and our opener at Arkansas."

Jarrett earlier said that, because he was paying part of the rent, he did not realize he was violating NCAA rules.

USC coach Pete Carroll had anticipated the NCAA's decision to reinstate Jarrett.

"We've felt comfortable throughout this process that the outcome would be like this," Carroll said. "I'm happy that the NCAA recognized the uniqueness of this situation.

"I know that Dwayne is relieved. We'll take this news in stride now and continue on with our business."

Strawley said: "Requiring him to pay the full value of his housing stipend and his share of the utility costs not only considers all the facts in the case but also provides a student-friendly decision that allows him to compete without missing any games."

Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press