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USF defensive back Jones shot twice

USF junior defensive back Johnnie Jones was shot once in the neck and shoulder outside a bar early Christmas morning after getting into an argument.

Jones, 21, was treated and released from Bayfront Medical Center after the shooting. Jones told The Tampa Tribune that he was “doing all right.”

Antonio T. Puente, 19, was arrested and charged with aggravated battery with a firearm following the incident.

Witnesses said they saw Puente shoot Jones and also said they saw Puente strike Jones at least once in the face with the handgun outside the Town Hall Bar between 1:15 and 1:30 a.m. Christmas morning, according to a Sarasota police arrest report obtained by the Tribune.

Puente was also shot once, but it was unknown whether it was by another gun or his own.

Baxter named 2004 NCAA Valor Award recipient

USF senior Jimmy Baxter, a member of the men’s basketball and track and field team’s, has earned the 2004 NCAA Award of Valor, an award given to a coach, administrator, current or former student-athlete who, when confronted with a situation involving personal danger, averted or minimized the potential disaster by courageous action or noteworthy bravery.

On a rainy night in December 2002, Baxter was driving to visit his father in St. Petersburg when he noticed an overturned vehicle in a drainage ditch along the side of the road. Baxter immediately pulled over to offer assistance and found two men, a father and his son, trapped in the vehicle, with the water level in the ditch rapidly rising.

Baxter was able to flag down another motorist from the interstate and retrieved a crowbar from the vehicle, which he used to break out the overturned vehicle’s windows. Baxter then pulled the two men from the car to safety.

The NCAA will present Baxter with the award at its Honor Dinner at the NCAA Convention on Jan. 11 in Nashville, Tenn.

Mitchell named All-America honorable mention

The American Volleyball Coaches Association named USF junior volleyball player Shameka Mitchell an Honorable Mention All-America in December after she helped the Bulls advance to the first round of the Conference USA tournament.

Mitchell led USF in kills per game, points per game, hitting percentage and solo blocks, while ranking second on the team in both blocks per game and digs per game.

Mitchell, who was an all-C-USA first-team selection, also was named to the AVCA All-Midwest Region team.

Nicholas named third-team freshman All-America

USF redshirt freshman linebacker Stephen Nicholas was named to The Sporting News freshman All-America third team in early December.

Nicholas, who registered 45 tackles, 5.5 sacks and 11 tackles for loss last season for the Bulls, also was named to the C-USA all-freshman team.

Compiled by Oracle Sports Editor Adam Adkins