|Whitney Hotel/Courtesy: thestate.com|
Monday evening, the school was served. With a "Notice of Allegations" by the NCAA that is.
They allege that multiple football and two women's track athlete's got rooms at highly reduced rates at the Whitney Hotel from May of 2009 through October of last year.
We reported on this story back in September of 2010, read that story RIGHT HERE
That was the primary violation according to investigators.
The other, involved a group called the Student-Athlete Mentoring Foundation. Investigators say the president and treasurer of the group provided recruiting inducements and other benefits to football players, a basketball player and members of the track and field team.
Tied in with this. The suspension of wide receiver Damiere Byrd. Byrd, who's father is the VP of the foundation, had 4 visits funded by the group and a variety of other illegal gifts. Byrd must repay $2,700 back to the foundation.
Read the entire story from gogamecocks.com RIGHT HERE
It sounds an awful lot like South Carolina has some problems. While the SAM Foundation issue is minor and somewhat nit-picky, the issue with the Whitney Hotel is a bit more problematic. Though yes, we know the NCAA considers them both potential major violations.
The bigger issue is that SC qualifies as a "Repeat Offender" because violations they were proven guilty of in 2005, are not 5-years removed from this current issue.
The school will be stating their case in front of the "Committee on Infractions" this coming February. Yes, they have the chance to impose some of their own sanctions beforehand and we are betting they will. They've already disassociated themselves (at least publicly) from the hotel and the SAM Foundation. To their credit, they've already gone on record saying they take the problems seriously and will work with the NCAA to resolve any issues. And that also is a good thing.
As always, there will be some repercussions from this, and it will affect current players, not those who committed most of the violations. There won't be much done to the coaches or administrators, there never are.
South Carolina will survive this, our guess is they lose some scholarships and are put on double-secret probation for awhile. That is pretty typical of an NCAA penalty for something like this.
WLTX-TV in Columbia gives you the TV version of this story: