The University of South Carolina announced today that they have received a Notice of Allegations from the NCAA, stemming from the investigation that began last summer.
University President Harris Pastides released this statement following the announcement:
“The University will review the notice and respond accordingly. I assure you that we will continue to take all aspects of this investigation very seriously. We are prepared to continue to work with the NCAA to resolve any issues.”
Athletics Director Eric Hyman also issued a statement, saying:
“We have and will continue to cooperate fully with the NCAA in all aspects of their review. Any pertinent information from the NCAA that can help us strengthen our athletics program will be used as an opportunity to make positive change.”
The allegations against USC include athletes (10 football players and two women’s track members) staying at Columbia’s Whitney Hotel for reduced and deferred rent payments (an impermissible benefit that other students were not privy to), which totaled over $47,000. Football players paid $14.59 a night, while women’s track athletes paid $14.16 a night.
Multiple impermissible benefits given by the Student-Athlete Mentoring Foundation (SAM) are cited as well, totaling over $8,000. South Carolina failed to monitor both of these situations, and will have to explain why.
But wait, there’s more. While the University did officially disassociate itself from Jamie Blevins, General Manager of the Whitney and USC grad and SAM treasurer Kevin Lahn, (good), USC was also found in violation of NCAA rules in 2005, meaning the school is now subject to repeat offender status (bad).
USC will respond to the NCAA by December 14th. By then, they will decided whether they agree in full or in part with the allegations, have gathered all documentation deemed necessary by the NCAA, and have come up with self-imposed sanctions (if they so choose).
Read the full Notice of Allegations here.