USC reviews restaurant visits for violation

BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. -- The University of Southern California is looking into whether its football program violated any NCAA rules by taking recruits to a restaurant owned by a former Trojans player.

Coach Pete Carroll acknowledges that USC's athletic department had given information to the school's compliance department about the frequent visits. He would not comment further during a Rose Bowl news conference.

The top-ranked Trojans play Texas for the national championship on Wednesday.

John Papadakis, a USC linebacker from 1970-71, owns the Greek restaurant in San Pedro, Calif. He told The Star-Telegram of Fort Worth that he gives recruits a speech about the Trojans' cardinal and gold colors and closes the meal by urging them to declare, "I want to be a Trojan."

As a former player, Papadakis, is prohibited from speaking to recruits about the Trojans.

USC sports information director Tim Tessalone said the compliance department was made aware earlier in the week of the possible violations after the Star-Telegram questioned whether recruiting rules were broken.