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NCAA cites South Carolina for failure to monitor
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The NCAA also alleged that South Carolina received $8,000 in improper benefits from the Student Athlete Mentoring Foundation.
SAMF president Steve Gordon and treasurer Kevin Lahn were found to have paid for several unofficial visits by Gamecocks freshman receiver Damiere Byrd. Both Gordon and Lahn are South Carolina graduates.
Byrd was suspended for South Carolina’s first four games and had to pay back $2,700.
Lahn also paid for a $3,350 dinner cruise on nearby Lake Murray for several prospects that was also attended by track coach Curtis Frye and 16 members of his program.
Football coach Steve Spurrier was not named in the violations.
The NCAA committee said “at least four athletic department employees did not recognize the potential violations.”
South Carolina said it would pay a fine of $18,500 for four athletes who competed in 2009 and 2010 while ineligible because of these violations.
The university has disassociated itself from three boosters; Gordon Lahn, and Whitney general manager Jamie Blevins.
Stiles was demoted and her salary cut by 15 percent. She is still employed in the compliance office.
Other penalties included suspending Frye from coaching his team during this weekend’s Penn Relays, limiting official visits to 50 for the men’s and women’s track team and already completed recruiting bans for basketball assistant Michael Boynton and quarterbacks coach G.A. Mangus.
Boynton was part of former coach Darrin Horn’s staff and was not retained by replacement Frank Martin.
The penalties could’ve been much more severe. Banowsky, commissioner of Conference USA, said South Carolina chose not to manage information and protect itself from NCAA investigators as other schools have done when faced with allegations of rule breaking.
“They wanted to ask all the hard questions of all the right people,” Banowsky said. “Even went beyond what the NCAA staff was doing. We see that less likely than we see the other approach and the report reflects how pleased the committee was with their diligence.”
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