South Carolina says it is not a target in FBI probe that led to former assistant's arrest
Former assistant Lamont Evans recruited two critical players to South Carolina
The FBI's wide-ranging investigation into corruption and bribery in college basketball does not, as of now, include a probe into the University of South Carolina, according to a school statement released Friday.
Gamecocks athletic director Ray Tanner issued a press release in an attempt to add clarity to South Carolina's curious position. It formerly employed Lamont Evans, who is one of four college assistants charged by the Department of Justice. Evans was fired by Oklahoma State on Thursday.
Evans was an integral member of Frank Martin's staff dating back to Martin's time at Kansas State in 2011 and then for four years under Martin in Columbia. Evans' bribery and fraud charges were filed after he was investigated at both South Carolina and Oklahoma State.
However, Tanner said Evans is the only South Carolina connection to the DOJ investigation.
"The University of South Carolina has been made aware that it is not the target of the Department of Justice investigation and we have received no information to indicate that any current or former member of the USC staff is involved in the federal investigation, other than the previously identified former assistant coach, Lamont Evans," Tanner's statement reads. "To proactively demonstrate our commitment to integrity and compliance, we will hire an independent third party that specializes in NCAA matters to conduct a review of the issues that relate to the federal investigation. Our review will be conducted in coordination with the Department of Justice and the NCAA in a collaborative manner. The Athletics Department has an extensive education and monitoring program and conducts regular training sessions with coaches and student athletes on NCAA rules. Our efforts have been praised and we expect this review will affirm that once again."
Evans left South Carolina in 2016 to join Brad Underwood's staff at Oklahoma State in, then was promoted at Oklahoma State this past spring after Underwood left for Illinois. When former Underwood assistant Mike Boynton landed the head coaching job with the Cowboys, Evans was promoted to associate head coach with a salary of approximately $600,000.
Evans gained acclaim while under Martin for his recruiting successes, including playing prominent roles in landing Sindarius Thornwell and P.J. Dozier, the two star players that helped South Carolina make school history last April when the program made its first Final Four.
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