USC RECEIVER JARRETT IS REINSTATED BY NCAA JUNIOR TO PAY $5K TO CHARITY FOR GETTING RENT BREAK ON DOWNTOWN L.A. APARTMENT.
The NCAA reinstated USC wide receiver Dwayne Jarrett's eligibility Wednesday without forcing the junior to miss any games this season.
Jarrett must pay $5,352 to a charity of his choice, after the NCAA determined he received a substantial rent break on a luxury apartment in downtown Los Angeles he shared with former USC quarterback Matt Leinart.
The pair lived together for 13 months and Jarrett paid $650 for a two-bedroom apartment that cost $3,866 a month. The NCAA determined his total benefit while he lived at the Medici apartment complex was $18,001.
USC coach Pete Carroll praised the decision but remained frustrated over the negative publicity brought about by the investigation.
``I bicker a little bit with the whole thing,'' Carroll said. ``We never felt he did anything wrong and it was portrayed like something wrong happened. It was a hard, long process.''
Jarrett said he expected to be cleared but was still relieved to officially hear the decision when Carroll informed him Wednesday afternoon.
``Everything is behind me. I feel like I have a monkey off my back,'' Jarrett said. ``I thought it was fair. I felt I did nothing wrong.''
Jarrett can either pay the money back in a lump sum or in monthly installments. He said he would pay it back with his family's support and his monthly scholarship stipend.
``It shouldn't be a problem,'' he said.
Jarrett said he recently left the Medici and moved into another apartment that cost $1,000 a month, which is more than USC's monthly stipend of approximately $960. He said he would not live with a roommate.
``I'm going to chill on roommates for a while and take it easy,'' he said.
The NCAA said it believed Jarrett would not have lived with Leinart if required to pay his full share of the rent. Leinart's portion of the rent was paid by his father.
``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 chose to live there,'' said Jennifer Strawley, NCAA director of membership services and student-athlete reinstatement.
``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.''
USC knew about the living arrangement between Leinart and Jarrett last season but thought it was legal after inspecting Leinart's rental agreement. However, when questions arose about whether Leinart paid full-market value on the apartment in April, the university's compliance office also reported Jarrett's arrangement to the NCAA. The NCAA contacted USC as recently as Monday with additional questions about Jarrett's case before making its decision.
Jarrett is required to pay the full value of his housing stipend ($960), minus what he already paid in rent ($650), plus half the cost of utilities for the time he lived with Leinart.
The decision relieved many inside the football program, who feared a repeat of two years ago, when the NCAA ruled wide receiver Mike Williams for an entire season after he decided to turn pro and accepted money from an agent.