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Darling talks to other schools

The FSU football player whose twin died may transfer.

By BRIAN LANDMAN

© St. Petersburg Times,
published July 11, 2001


Florida State's Devard Darling, whose twin brother, Devaughn, died after a strenuous off-season football workout, has been granted a release and is exploring transfer options, his family confirmed Tuesday.

Last weekend the sophomore receiver from the Houston suburb of Sugar Land visited Tennessee, which offered him a scholarship coming out of high school. He previously made a trip to Texas A&M. He and Devaughn chose FSU over A&M. According to a story in the Nashville Tennessean, Darling also will consider Miami and Florida.

"We're still waiting to see what happens with the other (possibilities), and then we'll sit down and discuss where he wants to go, what he wants to do," said Frank Rutherford, a cousin and father figure to the twins. "He could stay at Florida State. That's not out of the question."

The question with FSU, however, is whether the Seminoles would allow him to resume his career.

Rutherford said FSU officials haven't said "concretely" if they will allow Devard to play again, and he and Monique Smith, Darling's eldest sister, said that uncertainty is why Devard asked for his release.

"We need to explore all our options," she said.

Devard has had a battery of tests, all of which have come back negative, since Devaughn collapsed and died Feb. 26. The medical examiner found no "definite morphological cause" of death but did note that he had a rare sickle cell trait, the presence of one abnormal hemoglobin gene. Some studies have linked that trait to exercise-associated sudden death. Devard also carries the trait.

"He has not been medically cleared yet," FSU spokesman Rob Wilson said, adding that Devard would retain his scholarship and could earn his degree regardless of his playing status.

"It's in our court now," Rutherford said. "That's the situation."

Tennessee investigation ends

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. -- The NCAA's two-year investigation into academic fraud involving athletes at Tennessee is effectively over, school officials said Tuesday. Anne Mayhew, vice provost and Tennessee's NCAA representative, said a review of student work from an upper-level urban studies class completed last month was the final piece of the investigation. No violations were found.

"Based on this report and on our review of safeguards in place to prevent any possible abuse in the future, the NCAA issued its letter June 26, indicating it plans no further inquiry at this time," Mayhew said.

University officials presented an oral report to the NCAA about its review of student records and work from Urban Studies 450 on June 19.

The course is a three-hour practicum in which students work at businesses. Mayhew believed some course records dated to 1991 but wasn't sure if any current athletes were part of the review.

OBITUARY: Lou Kusserow, a star running back for Columbia in the 1940s who played a major role in one of the biggest upsets, died at age 73.

ARKANSAS-LSU: For the sixth straight year, the football game between Arkansas and LSU will be played on the Friday after Thanksgiving. CBS is to televise the Nov. 23 game, which will be played in Baton Rouge, La., with the kickoff set for 1:30 p.m.

Basketball

TEMPLE: Men's coach John Chaney has informally agreed to a contract extension through the 2004-05 season, the Philadelphia Inquirer reported. "I've got the contract in my hands," Chaney told the newspaper Monday night.

VILLANOVA: Allan Ray, a combination guard from St. Raymond's High in New York City, announced he had made an oral commitment to attend the university beginning with the fall semester of 2002.

NIKE CAMP: The NCAA is questioning the hiring of a public relations representative by Florida high school star Amare Stoudemire. Marc Little said the NCAA asked him to send a letter detailing his relationship with Stoudemire. Little told the Associated Press he will send the letter next week by certified mail. Stoudemire is a 6-foot-9, 240-pound senior expected to attend Cypress Creek High in Orlando this fall. The NCAA apparently wants to know about the arrangement between Stoudemire and Little, who said he is not being paid, and whether it violates the governing body's amateurism rule. Stoudemire has orally committed to Memphis.

-- Information from other news organizations was used in this report.

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