COLUMBIA – Eleven representatives of the University of South Carolina will travel to Los Angeles to meet with the NCAA’s Committee on Infractions on Friday and Saturday.
School spokeswoman Luanne Lawrence said the following people would make the trip: school president Dr. Harris Pastides, general counsel Terry Parham, athletic director Eric Hyman, faculty athletics representative Dr. Zach Kelehear, senior associate athletic director Judy Van Horn, new compliance director Chris Rogers, former compliance director Jennifer Stiles, head football coach Steve Spurrier, head track and field coach Curtis Frye, football quarterbacks coach G.A. Mangus and assistant men’s basketball coach Mike Boynton.
As part of an investigation that began in summer 2010, the NCAA charged the school with three major infractions: athletes receiving impermissibly discounted rates at a Columbia hotel, two USC graduates giving athletes and recruits improper benefits, and USC failing to monitor both situations, which resulted in athletes receiving $55,000 of improper benefits.
USC responded to the allegations in December. The school wrote that it “acknowledges that major violations occurred in its football program in 2009 and 2010” and that it “does not contest the allegations.”
USC also self-imposed penalties in December. The most significant involved eliminating football scholarships. The team is usually allowed to carry 85 scholarship players. That number will be reduced to 84 next season, 82 in 2013 and 83 in 2014. More important, USC said it will eliminate three scholarships from the incoming freshman classes of 2013 and 2014, whose size the NCAA already limits to 25 players.
USC put itself on three years of NCAA probation and will pay the NCAA a fine of $18,500 because four football players competed while ineligible in 2009.
This weekend, the 10-member Committee on Infractions will hear USC’s case and determine if it agrees with the school’s self-imposed penalties – or if it deserves harsher punishment. The committee’s decision about that won’t come until about six weeks after this weekend’s meetings.
USC hired Rogers as its new compliance director to replace Stiles, who was demoted to another position in the compliance office after her errors led to athletes receiving impermissibly discounted hotel rates. Rogers comes from Ohio State, where he dealt with a major violations in the Buckeyes’ football program. Van Horn was the interim compliance director.
Spurrier was not listed in the NCAA’s notice of allegations. But Frye, Mangus and Boynton were, and all three received letters of reprimand from Hyman in December.