There was a collective sigh of relief in the University of South Carolina athletic department offices Friday as the NCAA Committee on Infractions accepted virtually all of the school’s self-imposed penalties for major violations in the football and other programs.
USC in December self-imposed three years of NCAA probation and a reduction of six football scholarships. USC also offered to pay the NCAA a fine of $18,500 because four football players competed while ineligible in 2009. The NCAA on Friday agreed with the penalties, adding a “public reprimand and censure.”
NCAA Division I teams are allowed to have 85 scholarship football players during an academic year.
The NCAA charged USC 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.”