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COLLEGE FOOTBALL

Southern California stripped of title from 2004 season

The Bowl Championship Series has stripped Southern California of its 2004 title and will leave that season without a BCS champion. BCS officials had said USC was in danger of its championship being vacated after the Trojans were hit with heavy NCAA sanctions last year for rules violations committed during the 2004 and ‘05 seasons.

USC appealed the sanctions, which included a two-year ban from postseason play and a loss of 30 scholarships over three seasons, and the BCS waited until the NCAA ruled on the appeal to make a decision. The NCAA denied USC’s appeal May 26.

USC beat Oklahoma 55-19 in the 2005 Orange Bowl.

PRO FOOTBALL

Ex-Giants star Burress released from prison

ROME, N.Y. Former New York Giants star Plaxico Burress was released from prison Monday after spending nearly two years behind bars on a gun charge and headed to Florida to be with his family as he contemplates a return to the NFL.

The lanky 6-foot-5 receiver, who will turn 34 in August, had the world at his feet after catching a 13-yard pass from Eli Manning with 35 seconds to play to give the Giants a stunning 17-14 win over the undefeated New England Patriots in the 2008 Super Bowl.

His world fell apart nine months later when he walked into a Manhattan nightclub with a handgun tucked in the waistband of his pants. The weapon slipped down and discharged as Burress tried to grab it, injuring him in the thigh.

BASEBALL

Dykstra charged with car theft, drug possession

SAN FERNANDO, Calif. Former New York Mets and Philadelphia Phillies outfielder Lenny Dykstra has been charged with car theft and drug possession.

The Los Angeles County district attorney’s office said Dykstra and two other men were charged Monday with grand theft auto, identity theft and other crimes. He faces up to 12 years in prison if convicted.

Prosecutors claim Dykstra, his accountant and a friend leased three high-end cars from a Southern California dealership this year by providing phony information and claiming credit through a phony business.

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