The University of South Carolina and the NCAA continue their saga. Just a few days ago, USC issued an official response to an NCAA Notice of Allegations.
Next step in this process is a meeting with the NCAA Committee on Infractions in February.
Us nerds here read over the stuff on the website devoted to this issue - http://sc.edu/ncaaresponse/ .
Here is our summary of the events and actions USC has taken against itself:
Here is the talking points you hear….USC has self-imposed sanctions against the football program that will include a loss of six scholarships over the course of three years, a reduction of official recruiting visits to 30 for the 2012-13 year and an $18,500 fine for allowing four ineligible football players to compete during the 2009-10 football season.
Now to dive deeper:
---South Carolina does not contest the Notice of Allegations sent to the university on September 19. USC is manning up.
---USC acknowledges that major violations occurred in the football program from 2009 through 2010. No hiding or denying.
---South Carolina also self-imposed a three-year probation period beginning on the date of the response, December 14, 2011. Meaning to funny business for three years...tight ship.
---The school said it will reduce football scholarships by one in 2012-13, by three in 2013-14 and by two in 2014-15. The football team will reduce its official visits from 56 to 30 in 2012-2013. Loss of scholly's always hurt.
---Quarterbacks coach G.A. Mangus is banned from recruiting for one month, cannot receive any bonuses in the 2012-13 year, and cannot receive a raise in the 2013-14 year. He and Ellis Johnson were found guilty of committing secondary violations when recruiting.
---Assistant men’s basketball coach Mike Boynton is banned from recruiting for one month.
---Track and field coach Curtis Frye will not be allowed to coach at or attend the 2012 Penn Relays. He also cannot receive any salary bonuses in the 2011-2012 academic year and cannot receive a raise in the 2012-13 year.
---The NCAA also noted the university’s improper involvement with a Delaware-based mentoring group whose president and treasurer are boosters and South Carolina graduates. Remember the SAM foundation and the four game suspension of Damiere Byrd. There is a correlation there. The NCAA said the school committed a second major violation when athletes or prospects received $8,000 in benefits from Steve Gordon and Kevin Lahn of SAMF.
---Gordon and Lahn were found to have paid for several unofficial visits by Gamecocks freshman receiver Damiere Byrd. Byrd was suspended for South Carolina’s first four games and made to pay back $2,700.
---Lahn also paid for a $3,350 dinner cruise on nearby Lake Murray for several prospects that was also attended by track coach Curtis Frye and 16 members of his program.
---The university disassociated the representatives most responsible for these violations and ended its recruitment of the prospects associated with the mentoring foundation that are still in high school. Oh and this also means the Whitney Hotel is disassociated too.
---The university issued a letter of reprimand to Jennifer Stiles and removed her from her position as USC’s Director of Compliance, effective December 9, 2011, “as a result of the errors in judgment.” She handled the Whitney Hotel paperwork.
What worries LOHD the most going forward:
If you recall, USC dealt with and ended a previous NCAA investigation on November 16, 2005. Given that this investigation began in 2010, the university falls into the repeat violator status window. This could bring more penalties for USC. Keep in mind the 2005 stuff was under Coach Holtz’s watch. Being under this "status" could bring about some more issues from the NCAA regarding penalities for USC going forward.
Hard to say. The impressible benefits associated with the Whitney Hotel total around $47,000. If you recall Ohio State lost five scholarships due to $1,000 in impressible benefits. Boise State lost nine scholarships for impressible benefits in the $5,000 dollar range.
In saying all that, the point is the NCAA is unpredictable. I do not envision vacating wins or a bowl ban. Might see more probation time or further reductions in scholarships however.
South Carolina is scheduled to meet with the NCAA Committee on Infractions on February 17-18, 2012 in Los Angeles, Calif.
***Here is USC’s response to NCAA allegations if you need bedtime reading.