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NCAA Report

NCAA Report

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Published by Richard Phelps
Report on NCAA infractions at the University of South Carolina.
Report on NCAA infractions at the University of South Carolina.

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Published by: Richard Phelps on Apr 27, 2012
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05/19/2012

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UNIVERSITY OF SOUTH CAROLINA, COLUMBIAPUBLIC INFRACTIONS REPORT
 
APRIL 27, 2012A. INTRODUCTION.
On Friday, February 17, 2012, officials from the University of South Carolina appearedbefore the NCAA Division I Committee on Infractions to address allegations of NCAAviolations in the football and track and field programs. The majority of the violationsinvolved football student-athletes and prospects.The infractions in this case were limited and centered on two separate, unrelated set of circumstances, which resulted in NCAA violations: (1) student-athletes living in a localhotel at what proved to be a discounted rate; and (2) the impermissible involvement of two representatives of the institution's athletics interests in the institution's football andmen's basketball recruiting efforts and the provision of extra benefits by the two athleticsrepresentatives. There was also a concomitant failure to monitor by the institution. Withthe exception of one issue in Finding B-1, the institution did not contest any of theallegations.The violations in this case first came to light in July 2010 when the enforcement staff received information that a football student-athlete ("student-athlete 1") received benefitsfrom agents. In response to this information, student-athlete 1 was interviewed by theenforcement staff and the institution. During that interview, student-athlete 1 reportedthat he lived in a Columbia hotel ("local hotel"). This prompted the enforcement staff toreview student-athlete 1's housing arrangements at this hotel. During August 2010, theenforcement staff conducted on-campus interviews with student-athletes andadministrators, and confirmed that the local hotel met the definition of a "representativeof the institution's athletics interests." Further, it was determined that the local hotel hadbeen providing 12 student-athletes benefits in the form of reduced rent, and in somecases, deferred payment for rent, which resulted in the violations set forth in Finding B-1.With regard to the violations documented in Finding B-2, impermissible recruitinginducements and extra benefits from two athletics representatives, the violations occurredin connection with prospects' and student-athletes' involvement in a foundation ("thefoundation"). This foundation was established and funded by a representative of theinstitution's athletics interests who was an alumnus ("representative 1") with assistancefrom another representative, who was also a graduate of the institution ("representative2"). The foundation was established in or about 2007 and focused on the mentoring andsupport of inner-city high school students, some of whom were (or later became)
 
University of South Carolina, Columbia Public Infractions ReportApril 27, 2012Page No. 2__________recruited prospective student-athletes. In November 2010, the enforcement staff received information regarding possible impermissible recruiting activity byrepresentative 1 under the guise of this foundation. The subsequent inquiry resulted inthe discovery of the violations set forth in Finding B-2.A member of the Southeastern Conference, the institution has an enrollment of approximately 26,000 students. The institution sponsors nine men's and 11 women'sintercollegiate sports. This was the institution's fifth major infractions case, theinstitution having last appeared before the committee in November 2005 for a caseinvolving its football program. As a result of the 2005 case, the institution is considereda repeat violator under NCAA Bylaw 19.5.2.1.1. The institution also had previousinfractions cases in February 1991 (men's basketball), March 1987 (men's basketball),and January 1967 (men's basketball and football).
B. FINDINGS OF VIOLATIONS OF NCAA LEGISLATION.1. PREFERENTIAL TREATMENT AND IMPERMISSIBLE EXTRABENEFITS – DISCOUNTED LODGING. [NCAA Bylaws 12.1.2.1.6, 16.02.3,16.11.2.1 and 16.11.2.3-(a)]
From May 2009 through October 2010, a local hotel provided preferentialtreatment and extra benefits with an estimated value of $50,886.80 to 12 student-athletes in the form of reduced rent that generally was not available to the regularstudent population for off-campus housing. Additionally, the local hotel madespecial arrangements with nine of the student-athletes to pay their rent at laterdates, thereby providing an impermissible loan to the student-athletes. UnderNCAA legislation, the local hotel is considered to be a representative of theinstitution's athletics interests. Specifically:a.
 
From May 29, 2009, to February 24, 2010, and April 5 to August 22,2010, the local hotel provided a two-bedroom suite to a football student-athlete ("student-athlete 2") at a reduced daily rate of $14.59 for a total of 418 days. Student-athlete 2 occupied the suite with another footballstudent-athlete for 239 days of 418 days. Therefore, this reduced
 
rateconstituted preferential treatment and later an extra benefit valued at$16,940.
1
Additionally, student-athlete 1 did not pay rent from May 2009through February 2010, and made arrangements with the local hotel todefer rent payments until a later date, constituting an impermissible loan.
1
 
For an explanation regarding preferential treatment and extra benefits, see the discussion under Committee Rationale
 
University of South Carolina, Columbia Public Infractions ReportApril 27, 2012Page No. 3__________b.
 
From June 2009 to August 2010 (approximately 14 months), the localhotel provided a two-bedroom suite to student-athlete 1 at a reduced dailyrate of $14.59 for approximately 459 days. Student-athlete 1 occupied thesuite alone. Therefore, this reduced rate initially constituted preferentialtreatment and later an extra benefit estimated at $19,466.19. Further, inJune 2009, student-athlete 2 stopped paying rent and made specialarrangements with the local hotel to defer rent payments until the 2010 fallsemester, constituting an impermissible loan.c.
 
From November 28, 2009, to August 23, 2010, the local hotel provided atwo-bedroom suite to a football student-athlete ("student-athlete 3") at thereduced daily rate of $14.59 for 268 days. Student-athlete 3 occupied thesuite with a roommate. Therefore, this constituted preferential treatmentand later an extra benefit estimated at $5,626.39. Further, student-athlete3 did not pay rent until August 2010 and made special arrangements withthe local hotel to defer rent payments until the 2010 fall semester,constituting an impermissible loan.d.
 
From February 16 to August 23, 2010, the local hotel provided a two-bedroom suite to a football student-athlete ("student-athlete 4") at areduced daily rate of $14.59 for 188 days. Student-athlete 4 occupied thesuite with a roommate. Therefore, this constituted preferential treatmentand later an extra benefit estimated at $3,929.99. Further, since student-athlete 4 did not pay rent, he made special arrangements with the localhotel to defer rent payments until the 2010 fall semester, constituting animpermissible loan.e.
 
From May 9 to August 20, 2010, the local hotel provided a two-bedroomsuite to a football student-athlete ("student-athlete 5") at a reduced dailyrate of $14.59 for 103 days. Student-athlete 5 occupied the suite with aroommate. Therefore, this constituted an extra benefit estimated at$2,184.12. Further, student-athlete 5 made arrangements with the localhotel to defer rent payments until the 2010 fall semester, constituting animpermissible loan.f.
 
From May 9 to August 22, 2010, the local hotel provided a two-bedroomsuite to a football student-athlete ("student-athlete 6") at a reduced dailyrate of $14.59 for 106 days. Student-athlete 6 occupied the suite with aroommate. Therefore, this constituted an extra benefit estimated at$2,247.73. Further, after student-athlete 6 failed to pay any rent, the localhotel made arrangements with student-athlete 6 to defer rent paymentsuntil the 2010 fall semester, constituting an impermissible loan.

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