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Tuesday, August 28
Martin reportedly lied about past news services

SEATTLE -- Seattle Mariners' left fielder Al Martin apparently never played football at Southern California in the 1980s as he has claimed for years, a newspaper reported Tuesday.

Al Martin
Al Martin has some explaining to do -- again.

Coaches and players at Southern California and at Martin's high school in West Covina, Calif., said they have no knowledge of Martin ever attending or playing at the university, The Seattle Times reported.

Martin also is not in any of the USC team pictures, the Times reported

Southern California has no record that Martin ever enrolled, received scholarship money or played in a game, the paper said.

"I'm not saying anything," Martin said after the Mariners lost to Tampa Bay 6-0 Tuesday night. "I don't know anything about (the story)."

The Mariners' information guide says Martin "attended the University of Southern California on a football scholarship" and "played two seasons at strong safety for the Trojans."

The story of Martin attending USC on a football scholarship has been in baseball media guides for the three major league teams he has played for -- the Pittsburgh Pirates, the San Diego Padres and the Mariners. The story has also appeared in several newspaper articles over the years. The information for those accounts was provided by Martin.

Mariners spokesman Tim Hevly, who spoke with a school official, said the erroneous information would be removed from the guide's next edition, The Times reported.

The issue came up when Martin told a Times reporter this spring that crashing into teammate Carlos Guillen during a Mariners' game reminded him of a 1986 football game between Southern California and Michigan.

"For some reason, probably because I was young and dumb, I decided I could make a head-on stop of (Michigan's) Leroy Hoard," Martin told the Times in May. "I hit him, or rather he hit me. You remember those big tree-trunk legs Hoard had? That's what hit me."

Southern California did not play Michigan in 1986. The teams did not meet in the decade until the 1989 Rose Bowl.

When asked about the discrepancy last month, Martin told The Times he would provide proof the next day. That hasn't happened, the paper said, and Martin has declined to comment further on the record.

On another matter, Martin apparently misinformed the Times during spring training when he said he had been exonerated from a domestic violence misdemeanor conviction that stemmed from a fight he had with a woman who claimed he had married her while he was still married to someone else.

A recent check with the prosecuting attorney in Scottsdale, Ariz., confirmed that he pleaded guilty, spent a night in jail and remains on probation until November 2002, the Times reported.

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