Following a nearly two-year investigation into South Carolina’s athletics program stemming from allegations that student-athletes (mainly football players) received impermissible benefits, the NCAA has come to a conclusion regarding what sanctions the Gamecocks will face going forward.
And, by and large, the NCAA kept with the self-imposed penalties South Carolina submitted to the NCAA last December. You can read the football-related penalties below. HERE is the full summary by the NCAA.
The Association found that South Carolina failed to monitor its athletic program and “is responsible for impermissible recruiting, extra benefits and preferential treatment” of athletes according to the Committee on Infractions. Additionally, “at least four athletics department employees did not recognize the potential violations” committed by boosters Kevin Lahn and Steve Gordon.
Here’s the meat of the summary as it pertains to the infractions:
According to the facts of the case, twelve student-athletes lived in local hotel while paying a daily rate of less than $15 per person, an amount that was considerably less than what was available to the general student population. In addition, nine student-athletes received special loan arrangements by deferring rent payments through an agreement with the hotel. In total, the student-athletes received approximately $51,000* in impermissible extra benefits and preferential treatment.
In addition, two boosters provided more than $8,000 from their foundation for recruiting inducements and extra benefits to football prospects and student-athletes. These boosters also were involved in recruiting contacts. The committee noted that while some of the motivation and purpose for establishing the foundation were well-intentioned, it was clear that some efforts were aimed at assisting the university in its recruitment efforts. The benefits from the boosters included cash, gift cards, entertainment and funding of multiple unofficial visits.
With the exception of determining when the local hotel should be considered a booster organization, the university agreed with all of the allegations in this case, including the failure to monitor.
(*That number was previously said to be $47,000 with total benefits being $55,000)
Here’s what the football program faces in terms of sanctioning (note that another year of Stephen Garcia was not imposed by the NCAA):
- Public reprimand and censure.
- Three years of probation from April 27, 2012, through April 26, 2015.
- Reduction of total football scholarships by three (from 85 maximum) during the 2013-14 and 2014-15 academic years.
- Reduction of initial football scholarships by three (from the 25 maximum) during the 2013-14 and 2014-15 academic years (self-imposed by the university).
- $18,500 fine (self-imposed by the university).
- Indefinite disassociation of both involved boosters and the local hotel (self-imposed by the university).
- Limit of 30 official visits in football (from the 56 maximum) for the 2012-13 academic year (self-imposed by the university).
- An assistant football coach was withheld from off campus recruiting during January 2012 (self-imposed by the university).
In other words, pretty much what the school proposed last year. The reason? The “committee noted the university’s cooperation in the investigation, which went beyond standard expectations.”
Hear that kids? Break the rules all you want. Just admit you were wrong and be helpful along the way.