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USF football team likely to go to Vero Beach for part of preseason camp

TAMPA — USF football coach Skip Holtz's first preseason camp could have an NFL feel to it, as the Bulls are strongly considering spending up to two weeks of August practice in Vero Beach.

USF is in negotiations with officials at the Vero Beach Sports Village, a large athletic complex formerly known as Dodgertown, the spring training home of the Dodgers for 50 years until 2008.

"We have talked to them, but nothing has been finalized," said Jeff Biddle, director of athletics and marketing for Minor League Baseball, which owns the complex.

USF assistant athletic director Chris Freet confirmed the talks with officials in Vero Beach, and declined further comment. The Bulls are scheduled to open practice in Tampa Aug. 6, the final day of summer classes, and must return by Aug. 23, when fall classes begin. USF opens its season Sept. 4 at Raymond James Stadium against Stony Brook.

USF never has held preseason practice off campus.

Having the team away from campus and its distractions can allow for better focus and more of a bonding experience among players and coaches.

The Vero Beach complex has gone largely unoccupied since the Dodgers moved to Arizona following spring training in 2008. The New Orleans Saints spent 10 preseasons in Vero Beach from 1974-84, and six other NFL teams have worked out there.

The Sports Village has enough lodging to keep the team on-site. It's unknown how much cost the Bulls would incur from two weeks spent off-campus.

USC: Haden in, Garrett out, Heisman leaving

LOS ANGELES — USC is cleaning house, throwing out much of what got the athletic department in severe NCAA trouble.

Athletic director Mike Garrett and Reggie Bush's Heisman Trophy are the first two items to go.

In a letter to school supporters, incoming USC president Max Nikias said Garrett will be replaced Aug. 3 by Pat Haden, a former Trojans quarterback and a member of USC's board of trustees. The school also will return its copy of Bush's trophy to the Heisman Trust, among several measures to disassociate itself from the tainted tailback.

Last month the NCAA handed USC four years of probation, a two-year bowl ban and other restrictions.

ALABAMA: Coach Nick Saban told ESPN.com that compliance officials are trying to determine if defensive end Marcell Dareus violated NCAA rules by attending an agent's party in Florida.

Information from Times wires was used in this report.

USF football team likely to go to Vero Beach for part of preseason camp 07/20/10 [Last modified: Tuesday, July 20, 2010 11:14pm]
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