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South Carolina Gets Notice Of Allegations From NCAA

The University of South Carolina athletic department received today the letter no school wants to find in its mailbox — a notice of NCAA allegations.

Following an inquiry into athletes staying at a Columbia hotel, the NCAA notified Carolina president Harris Pastides that “available information appears to be of sufficient substance and reliability to warrant a notice of allegations.”

The NCAA has sent several questions to USC to determine the facts surrounding several specific incidents and as well as to “determine the policies and practices of football, men’s basketball, and men’s and women’s track and field in certain areas of athletics administration.”

The charges claim that 12 Carolina athletes received an estimated $47,000 worth of impermissible benefits from the Whitney Hotel (left) via reduced rent and that nine more athletes received special treatment allowing them to pay late.

There are also claims that two people representing USC made impermissible contact with recruits and provided them with impermissible benefits between the spring of 2009 and February 2011.

“We have and will continue to cooperate fully with the NCAA in all aspects of their review,” said AD Eric Hyman.  “Any pertinent information from the NCAA that can help us strengthen our athletics program will be used as an opportunity to make positive change.”

You may recall that the NCAA first learned of the Whitney Hotel situation while investigating former Gamecock tight end Weslye Saunders.

You might also recall that when this story first broke last August, Steve Spurrier said:

“Anyone can poke around our program.  We don’t have anything to hide.  Poke on everything — the hours we practice and train.  They can poke everything we do.  And our compliance people poke, too.”

Well, apparently Carolina’s compliance department didn’t poke around nearly as well as the NCAA’s investigators did… and for that, USC could really be poked.

 


8 comments
Gamecock in ATL
Gamecock in ATL

John,

Any perspective on how big of a deal this is? Obviously a letter of allegations is never a good thing, but penalty-wise, where do you see this coming out? UNC, GT, and OSU have all vacated wins recently. Do you see the same happening for SC?

I know the headline number is $47,000, but I wonder how accurate that really is ... I may be biased here, but don't you think that anyone with a bit of brain would negotiate a lower rate at a hotel for an extended stay? Especially in a non-destination city like Columbia during a weak economic environment? I just wonder if the "real" discount was much, much lower. Not sure that it matters, but I am curious.

Where do you see this one going?

johnmrsec
johnmrsec

Gamecock in ATL...

It doesn't look good, certainly. When you're talking about multiple athletes and a total of almost $50,000 that's pretty big stuff. Also, just what impermissible benefits did two Carolina boosters provide to prospects?

On the surface, this smells like scholarship reductions and a probationary period. But we don't have all of the details yet and Carolina will still have a day in NCAA court to defend itself.

But it's not good.

Thanks for reading,
John

tim
tim

It seems like the coverage of this is miniscule compared to that of the Ohio State scandal, which were essentially the same allegations, but for pennies on the dollar compared to Carolina. I guess because OSU is an arguably relevant program; although the chickens did beat them the last 2 times they played.
Carolina is in some real trouble here, and the biggest trouble is that they didn't self-report this, but the NCAA had to uncover it.

guest
guest

It's completely different from Ohio State. No one played a game that was not ruled eligible. The player in question was kicked off the team prior to the 2010 season - the others were ruled eligible by the ncaa to play before the first game. Probably a loss of scholarship or two but nothing major.

steve from sc
steve from sc

You have a lot of practice being poked on by the NCAA, being a UT fan John Pennington.

johnmrsec
johnmrsec

steve from sc...

Yep. Tennessee fans have had to deal with a lot of NCAA issues. We've covered 'em all right here.

Didn't mean much to me though, as I'm not a Tennessee fan. Week to week, game to game, I usually pull of the underdog in every SEC game. So you can usually check the point spread and figure out who I'll be pulling for in a given game.

But if it makes you feel better to think that line was added as an anti-Carolina dig by a big ol' Vol fan, have at it. Just be sure to tell all those UT fans who come here and say that I hate their school what a big ol' Vol I am.

By the way, where were you last summer when I caught so much flak for saying that I hoped South Carolina and Ole Miss would reach the SEC title game -- since neither had ever made it? Back then I was accused of being a USC/UM fan.

John

Smoochie
Smoochie

Must be a stressful moment for the man who once coined "Free Shoes University."

From The Bunker
From The Bunker

That's why "No Comment" should be used in these cases...

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