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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.

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