According to Evan Daniels of Scout.com, class of 2016 4-star power forward Troy Baxter, who signed with South Florida in the fall, was released from his letter of intent on Friday.
2016 South Florida signee Troy Baxter was released from his Letter of Intent today, per a source. Eligible for this coming season.
— Evan Daniels (@EvanDaniels) August 26, 2016
As a class of 2016 recruit, he is now free to sign elsewhere and be eligible to play immediately.
This is quite the blow for head coach Orlando Antigua and the Bulls. The signing of Baxter was a huge coup for Antigua, as he was the best recruit Antigua ever signed at South Florida after previously serving as an assistant coach under John Calipari at Kentucky and Memphis.
It’s not been a kind offseason for Antigua and the South Florida basketball program. In July, there were reports that the NCAA was investigating the school for academic fraud.
So based on the timing of Baxter’s request to get released, you can surmise that the NCAA’s investigation likely played a huge factor in his decision.
Baxter, a 6’7”, 185-pound power forward from Tallahassee, Florida (The Rock School) is rated by 247Sports as a 4-star recruit in the 2016 class. The site ranks him as the No.94 overall prospect in the 2016 class, the 20th-best power forward in the country and the ninth-best basketball player in the state of Florida.
He originally chose the Bulls while possessing offers from Alabama, Arizona State, Arkansas, Connecticut, Florida International, Kansas State, Temple, Tennessee and Texas Tech. Baxter was also receiving interest from Florida, Florida State, Miami and Central Florida.
South Florida is coming off a horrible 2015-16 season in which it went just 8-25 overall and 4-14 in the American Athletic Conference, where it finished in a tie for ninth place.