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Women’s basketball to visit mayor

USF women’s basketball will be honored by the city of Tampa this week for winning the 2009 Women’s National Invitational Tournament.

At 4 p.m. today, the team is expected to visit Tampa Mayor Pam Iorio in her office and present her with an autographed basketball. 

On Saturday, the University will recognize the team with announcements from Florida’s Senate and House of Representatives during the first and second quarters of the USF’s football game against Charleston Southern at Raymond James Stadium.

“We appreciate Mayor Iorio, the City of Tampa, the Florida House of Representatives and Florida Senate, and the University of South Florida for its support,” said USF coach Jose Fernandez in a statement. “Winning the WNIT last year was a special memory that the members of our program will never forget. To get this recognition means a tremendous amount to our players and staff.”

USF, which will raise a WNIT championship banner on Nov. 13, beat Kansas 75-71 in the championship game last April. It was the Bulls’ first title in basketball, and their 27-10 record was the best in school history.

Running back Ford to return Saturday

After serving his two-game suspension, junior Mike Ford is expected to play on Saturday against Charleston Southern, said USF coach Jim Leavitt after Monday’s practice.

Leavitt said he doesn’t know how much Ford will play, however.

“Mo Plancher had a good game (Saturday). Aston Samuels is awfully good and Lindsey Lamar is playing well, so he’s got some guys he’s got to compete with,” he said.

Ford, who was suspended for the first two games for a violation of team rules, acknowledged his wrongdoing, Leavitt said.

Landi and Washington don’t practice, Hester still not 100 percent

Nursing injuries, redshirt freshman quarterback and wide receiver Evan Landi and sophomore cornerback Quenton Washington didn’t practice Monday, Leavitt said.

The Bulls practiced in the Sun Dome because of inclement weather. Washington, who has started at corner the first two games, injured his ankle Saturday against Western Kentucky. Landi left with an injured right shoulder.

Senior receiver Jessie Hester, who tore ankle ligaments in the spring, is still being evaluated on a day-by-day basis but practiced Monday, Leavitt said.

Kickoff time announced for USF-FSU game

USF’s Sept. 26 matchup with Florida State at Doak Campbell Stadium in Tallahassee will begin at noon and will be carried by ESPNU, the school announced Monday.

It will be one of eight USF football games broadcast on the ESPN family of networks this season.

USF also announced Monday that Sunday’s top 25 men’s soccer matchup between USF (4-0-0) and Notre Dame (2-2-1) will be broadcast live at the USF soccer stadium at 1 p.m. by the Bright House Sports Network.

USF, coming off a road win against Virginia Tech on Friday, moved to No. 5 in the country in some polls.