Los Angeles — Southern California is imposing sanctions on its basketball program for violating NCAA rules involving former player O.J. Mayo.
The university’s investigation found rules were violated during Mayo’s one season with the Trojans in 2007-08 under former coach Tim Floyd. Mayo currently plays for the NBA’s Memphis Grizzlies.
The sanctions announced Sunday call for a one-year ban on postseason play following the current regular season, including the Pac-10 Conference tournament; a loss of one scholarship for this season and the 2010-2011 season; a loss of one coach permitted to engage in off-campus recruiting during the summer of 2010; and the loss of 20 recruiting days (from 130 to 110) for the 2010-2011 academic year.
The school said that because of Mayo’s involvement with Rodney Guillory, who under NCAA rules became a USC booster due to his role in Mayo’s recruitment, USC will vacate its 21 victories during the 2007-08 season, when Mayo competed while ineligible.
Floyd abruptly quit in June following allegations that he gave $1,000 in cash to Guillory, who helped steer Mayo to Southern Cal.
Louis Johnson, a former associate of Mayo and Guillory, has previously alleged Guillory received hundreds of thousands of dollars from a sports agency that he partially funneled to Mayo.
Floyd, now an assistant with the New Orleans Hornets, has never addressed the allegations involving Mayo.
USC will return to the NCAA the money it received through the Pac-10 for playing in the 2008 NCAA Tournament. The Trojans lost in the first round to Kansas State.
“When we’ve done something wrong, we have an obligation to do something about it and that is exactly what we are doing here,” athletic director Mike Garrett said in a statement.
“We believe the self-imposed sanctions are consistent with penalties imposed at other NCAA member institutions which have been cited with similar rules infractions.”
Monty critical of Tiger
London — Colin Montgomerie believes Tiger Woods will return from his marital problems to win more majors, but says he won’t be the iconic player who dominated golf for the past decade.
Woods has taken an indefinite leave from the game after admitting to infidelity.
Europe’s Ryder Cup captain told BBC Radio on Sunday that he had no doubt Woods would come back and add to his 14 majors, but said his mystique had now gone.
Watson to play at Dubai
Dubai, United Arab Emirates — Eight-time major champion Tom Watson has committed to play in the Dubai Desert Classic.
The 60-year-old American will aim to better the record of Mark O’Meara, who became the oldest player to win the title in 2004 at 47.
Watson says he is “looking forward to playing in a city that seems to be making good progress as a golfing destination.”
The event will be held at the Majlis course of Emirates Golf Club from Feb. 4-7.
Organizer Mohamed Juma Buamaim said Sunday he is “delighted to have a player of the stature and caliber of Tom Watson in the field.”
Watson almost became the oldest British Open winner last year at 59, losing at Turnberry in a playoff to Stewart Cink.
Arenas not talking
Washington — A day after acknowledging “bad judgment” for bringing guns to the locker room, embattled guard Gilbert Arenas was not talking after practice.
The Washington Wizards star is to meet with law enforcement today. Arenas is being investigated by federal and local authorities.
On Saturday, Arenas also denied that he gambles and said there are misconceptions about a dispute between him and teammate Javaris Crittenton.
Coach Flip Saunders spoke at practice Sunday and questioned the way in which Arenas is being portrayed. The coach said various reports are trying to “lump a lot of things together.” He added that such an approach is “not fair to him from that standpoint.”
Sources: Zorn to be fired
The Washington Redskins plan to fire coach Jim Zorn today, an official within the NFL told the Associated Press.
The Redskins planned to make the move on the day after the end of a disappointing regular season. Washington struggled early despite a weak schedule and finished 4-12 after losing 23-20 in Sunday’s finale against the San Diego Chargers.
The official spoke to the AP on Sunday on condition of anonymity because no formal announcement has been made.
“I would not even comment on that,” Zorn said after Sunday’s game. “There are a lot of things, I’m sure, out there as far as stories. There already has been. So I get that. I’m working on our team meeting, our offseason schedule, and until I’m told that I’m on any other effort, I’m getting ready.”
Zorn’s dismissal has been expected for months. The front office stripped him of his play-calling duties in late October, and owner Dan Snyder has interviewed assistant coach Jerry Gray for the job, according to the Fritz Pollard Alliance, which monitors minority hiring in the NFL.
Gray’s interview was an effort to comply with the Rooney Rule, which requires that teams consider a minority candidate for the head-coaching position. If the NFL deems that the Rooney Rule has been satisfied, the Redskins are free to act quickly to hire a replacement for Zorn. Former Denver Broncos coach Mike Shanahan is considered the favorite.
UF’s Haden to enter NFL
Gainesville, Fla. — Florida cornerback Joe Haden is skipping his final year of eligibility and entering the NFL Draft.
Haden announced his intentions Sunday, two days after No. 5 Florida beat fourth-ranked Cincinnati, 51-24, in the Sugar Bowl. He is widely considered college football’s top cornerback and is expected to be a top-10 pick in the draft.
UT’s Collins kicked off team
Pflugerville, Texas — Texas receiver Brandon Collins, who was academically ineligible this season, has been kicked off the team following his arrest.
Longhorns coach Mack Brown announced the decision Sunday, a day after Collins was arrested in the Austin suburb of Pflugerville.
USC RB accepts invite
Mobile, Ala. — USC running back Stafon Johnson, who had his larynx crushed in a weightlifting accident early in the season, accepted an invitation to play in the Senior Bowl. The Senior Bowl announced Sunday that Johnson planned to participate in practices and the Jan. 30 showcase game for NFL prospects in Mobile, Ala.
Wickmayer wins in return
Auckland, New Zealand — Belgium’s Yanina Wickmayer made a winning return to the WTA Tour after her ban for breaching anti-doping regulations was lifted, beating Germany’s Julia Goerges, 6-3, 6-4, today in the ASB Classic.
Wickmayer, ranked 16th, and compatriot Xavier Malisse were banned for one year in November for failing on three occasions to report their whereabouts to drug testers under World Anti-Doping Agency regulations. A Belgian civil court lifted the bans on Dec. 16, pending appeals against their suspensions.
Spain blanks U.S.
Perth, Australia — Tommy Robredo and Maria Jose Martinez Sanchez each won their singles matches before combining in mixed doubles to give Spain a 3-0 victory over the United States at the Hopman Cup on Sunday.
Delgado 1-4 in comeback
Carolina, Puerto Rico — Carlos Delgado went 1-for-4 with a single Sunday night in his first game since undergoing hip surgery in May, an injury that ended his season with the New York Mets.
The free-agent slugger batted cleanup as the designated hitter for the Carolina Giants in Puerto Rico’s winter league.