USC taking look at potential problem poster

The poster for the "Carolina Christmass X-mas Eve Explosion" on Club Cascade's Facebook event page.

COLUMBIA -- Images of South Carolina football players Jadeveon Clowney and C.C. Whitlock are featured on a poster to promote a Christmas Eve party in Rock Hill -- a potential NCAA violation.

"We are aware of it and looking into it," said USC spokesman Steve Fink.

New compliance director Judy Van Horn did not return a telephone message. Van Horn replaced Jennifer Stiles, who was demoted Dec. 9 to another position in the compliance office because of her role in USC's NCAA violations. Her demotion was part of USC's self-imposed sanctions for the allegations of major violations.

A Facebook page was created to promote the party, at a Rock Hill night club. The poster is displayed on the page, and it features one image of Clowney and another of Whitlock, both in their USC uniforms. Both players' names appear on the poster. Invitations to 1,813 people were sent out through the Facebook page.

NCAA rules prohibit the use of an athlete's name or image to promote a for-profit event.

Already this month, Clemson wide receiver Sammy Watkins and North Carolina wide receiver Dwight Jones found themselves in similar situations.

Watkins was listed as a "host" on a flier for a Christmas party in his home state, Florida. His image did not appear on the flier. Jones' name and image appeared on a flier for a New Year's Eve birthday party in his honor, held in his hometown, Burlington, N.C.

Clemson sent a cease-and-desist notice to the party promoter and expects Watkins to play in the Orange Bowl. Jones has been cleared by the NCAA to play in the Independence Bowl. The school ruled Jones ineligible Tuesday and immediately applied for his reinstatement, which was granted. Jones committed a secondary NCAA violation by allowing his name and image to be used on the flier.

It is unclear if Whitlock and Clowney knew their names and images were being used.

Whitlock is a senior cornerback who shared starting duties this season with Marty Markett. Whitlock tied for the team lead with three interceptions. He is from Chester, which is 25 miles south of Rock Hill.

Clowney is a true freshman defensive end from Rock Hill. He was the nation's top-rated recruit in the Class of 2011 and was named Southeastern Conference Freshman of the Year by the league's coaches after finishing the regular season with 10 tackles for a loss, six sacks and five forced fumbles.

USC officials will appear before the NCAA's Committee on Infractions in February to receive the final ruling on its violations, which involved athletes staying at a Columbia hotel for impermissibly reduced rates and athletes and recruits receiving improper benefits from two USC graduates who run a mentoring foundation. USC's other self-imposed penalties included the loss of six total scholarships for the recruiting classes of 2013 and 2014 and three years of probation.