Tag:South Carolina NCAA Investigation
Posted on: December 14, 2011 5:13 pm
 

Gamecocks offer NCAA 6 scholarships over 3 years

Posted by Jerry Hinnen

South Carolina's compliance department has issued its official response to the NCAA's Notice of Allegations, and will be giving up at least six football scholarships over the next three seasons as part of its package of self-imposed sanctions.

The response did not dispute the NCAA investigation's assertion that Gamecock athletes (or "prospective athletes") has received some $55,000 from "representatives of the school’s athletic interests." The school also agreed that their compliance had failed to respond properly to a pair of separate "potentially improper situations," likely explaining why (as reported by CBSSports.com Carolina RapidReporter Josh Kendall) compliance director Jennifer Stiles was demoted Tuesday night.

The Notice of Allegations was delivered in September and alleged that approximately $47,000 in improper benefits had been offered to Gamecock athletes by the owner of the local Whitney Hotel, who allowed the athletes to stay at the hotel at a rate far below its usual daily rate. The infractions occurred during the 2009 season and could still result in vacations of that season's wins. 

But for the time being, the Gamecocks will hope it doesn't come to that. In addition to the six scholarships forfeited over three years, the school is also self-imposing a three-year probation and limitation of official visits for the football program. 

“We continue to work in full cooperation with the NCAA on this very serious matter,” Carolina president Dr. Harris Pastides said. “As an institution, we established self-imposed penalties and implemented corrective actions."

Given that the Gamecocks are still facing charges of "failure to monitor" and potential repeat violator status (per the Notice of Allegations), they're far from out of the woods yet; the NCAA's decision whether or not to impose further sanctions will come down at the Committee on Infractions hearing in February.

But until then, assuming the self-imposed sanctions are even in the final ballpark of the NCAA's punishment, it seems the Gamecocks will weather this scandal without too much serious damage.
Posted on: September 19, 2011 6:10 pm
 

Gamecocks receive NCAA Notice of Allegations

Posted by Jerry Hinnen

The same day their neighbors to the north announced their response to an NCAA Notice of Allegations, South Carolina has announced that the Gamecocks have received their own NOA. And the details don't look good for the Gamecocks.

According to the NOA (PDF), the owner of the Whitney Hotel in Columbia -- described in the NOA as a "representative of the institution's athletics interests" -- provided some $47,000 in improper benefits to various Gamecock football players in the form of discounted hotel suites. The suites were charged to multiple players at a cost of just $14.59 per day, and with several players' having their already-reduced rent deferred, the players also stand accused of receiving "impermissible loans."

With the violations occurring throughout the 2009 season, it seems likely Carolina will have to vacate their seven wins that year.

That's only the start of the bad news for Carolina. The Student-Athlete Mentoring Foundation and Steve Gordon -- also described as a "representative of the institution's athletics interests" -- have been charged by the NOA with providing some $8,000 "impermissible recruiting inducements." Gordon and the S.A.M.'s involvement has already led to the suspensions this season of Florida's Sharrif Floyd and the Gamecocks' Damiere Byrd.

Between those two allegations and others (which include a pair of track athletes also receiving benefits at the Whitney), Carolina has been charged with "failure to monitor" and are "considered to be potential major violations." It also won't help the Gamecocks' case that the NOA also considers the Gamecocks subject to potential "repeat violator" status.

The Gamecocks will go in front of the NCAA's Committee on Infractions in Los Angeles this coming February 17 and 18. At that meeting Carolina officials will either agree with or dispute the allegatiosn and self-impose any sanctions they deem necessary.

As for the bottom line -- what sanctions the Gamecocks will self-impose and which additional ones the NCAA might tack on -- it's too early to make anything more than an educated guess. But combining the $55,000 price tag with repeat violator status and the failure to monitor charge could be a toxic brew for the Gamecocks ... and one that we feel means a postseason ban or major scholarship reductions, if not likely, can't be ruled out, either.
 
 
 
 
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