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Ole Miss, Masoli win appeal

OXFORD, Miss. — In a surprising twist to a monthlong saga, Mississippi quarterback Jeremiah Masoli was cleared to play just one day before the start of his team's season.

On Tuesday, the NCAA ruled that the former Oregon player had to sit out a season. But Ole Miss appealed and said Friday that the NCAA Division I Subcommittee for Legislative Relief had overturned the first ruling.

Masoli is expected to be the starter this season, though sophomore Nathan Stanley will likely start today against Jacksonville State because of the short notice.

Masoli played for Oregon the past two seasons, leading the Ducks to the Rose Bowl in 2009. But he was kicked off Oregon's team earlier this summer after two run-ins with police.

Masoli had already received an undergraduate degree from Oregon and decided to transfer to Ole Miss, where he entered a graduate program. The NCAA will often waive a one-year residency requirement for athletes who enter a graduate program not offered at the previous school, but it initially didn't clear Masoli because "the waiver exists to provide relief to student-athletes who transfer for academic reasons to pursue graduate studies, not to avoid disciplinary measures at the previous university."

Tar Heel subpoenaed

Investigators from the North Carolina Secretary of State's office have subpoenaed Tar Heels defensive tackle Marvin Austin, the Associated Press reported.

Austin is one of 13 players who did not travel with the team Friday to Atlanta for today's opener against No. 21 LSU because of an NCAA probe.

Secretary of State Elaine Marshall's office is reviewing whether sports agents laws have been broken. The NCAA probe initially focused on whether Austin and receiver Greg Little got improper benefits from agents and has expanded to possible academic violations.

Late Friday, linebackers Quan Sturdivant and Bruce Carter were cleared to play after the team had left but got on the road later. The NCAA said it still needed more information on safety Deunta Williams, who remained in Chapel Hill with Austin, Little and 10 others as the NCAA and state investigators dig deeper into the program.

Boise State: Assistant coach Keith Abu Bhonapha was arrested on suspicion of drunken driving and won't make the trip to the opener against No. 10 Virginia Tech.

Georgia: Safety Alec Ogletree was suspended for today's game against Louisiana-Lafayette after becoming the ninth Bulldogs player arrested this year. University police obtained a warrant on a misdemeanor theft charge stemming from a June incident. He turned himself in Friday and was released on bond.

Late thursday: Matt Barkley and Ronald Johnson connected on three touchdowns to make Lane Kiffin a winner in his first game as USC coach, 49-36 over host Hawaii. The Trojans hardly stopped the Warriors, who gained 588 yards to USC's 524. Kiffin wasn't as thrilled with the performance as his players were.

"I'm really disappointed with everything in general," Kiffin said, "but (more) important than anything was the (lack of) discipline."

Ole Miss, Masoli win appeal 09/03/10 [Last modified: Friday, September 3, 2010 10:10pm]
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