New allegations may trouble USC basketball program

The USC basketball program might face more controversy as Rutgers University is expected to claim the Trojans tampered with a Rutgers star athlete, it was reported today.

The New Jersey Courier-News quoted two unnamed sources close to the Rutgers athletic department, who said the school will file formal charges with the NCAA alleging that USC tampered with its player, Mike Rosario.

The sophomore guard has also been told he will not be allowed to transfer to USC or two other universities.

The controversy comes as Rutgers fired head basketball coach Fred Hill this week, and the newspaper reported that Rosario will not be given permission to leave the Rutgers basketball team until a new coach is hired.

Rutgers will not file the tampering charges against USC until its new coach is in place, the Courier-News said.

The new tampering charges could be a black eye for new USC coach Kevin O'Neill, who is leading a team that banned itself from postseason play after the school confessed to violating NCAA rules under O'Neill's predecessor, Tim Floyd.

Floyd allegedly paid $1,000 to a former advisor close to ex-Trojan O.J. Mayo.

Earlier this year, USC announced that it penalized its basketball team by forfeiting victories and tournament money, forgoing postseason play this year and curtailing recruiting. The NCAA is investigating USC this month and could impose additional sanctions against the Trojans, who have expressed a desire to turn over a new leaf with the regulatory agency.

Sources told the Courier-News that Rosario might want to go to USC to join his high school teammate, Jio Fontan, who landed at Troy after leaving Fordham University this winter.

Sources at Rutgers told the New Jersey newspaper that the school might release Rosario, but not if he wants to attend USC, Florida or Kansas.