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Anderson Independent-Mail (South Carolina)
COLUMBIA — The NCAA released a statement on football recruiting violations by South Carolina around noon Wednesday, the first day of college football's new early signing period.
The statement mentions two assistant coaches being a part of the inquiry but did not name them. The violations occurred in May of 2016.
"As athletics director, the University of South Carolina athletics department is committed to a culture of compliance," USC's Ray Tanner said through a spokesperson. "When these matters came to our attention, we worked with the NCAA and they accepted our self-imposed actions in this case. There is no further impact on our football program. I am pleased that the NCAA recognized the diligence of our work in this case and accepted our penalties."
What the NCAA said:
"Two University of South Carolina, Columbia, assistant football coaches leveraged relationships with a high school's coaches to create a built-in recruiting advantage, according to a Division I Committee on Infractions panel.
This case was resolved through the summary disposition process, a cooperative effort in which the involved parties collectively submit the case to the Committee on Infractions in written form. The NCAA enforcement staff, university and involved parties must agree to the facts and overall level of the case to use this process instead of a formal in-person hearing.
The violations stemmed from the assistant coaches' two separate visits to the high school to observe a football team's workout during an evaluation period. While this evaluation is otherwise allowed under NCAA rules, the high school head football coach and strength and conditioning coach handpicked four prospects to perform drills exclusively for the assistant coach at the assistant coach's request. One week later, the strength coach pulled three of the same four prospects aside to perform drills exclusively for the other assistant coach.
"Impermissible contacts and tryouts - no matter how few or brief - are an important matter to the membership," the panel stated in its decision. "The violations confer an unfair advantage in the recruiting process on institutions that engage in them to the detriment of institutions that comply with the legislation."
Penalties in the case include a $5,000 fine and the following recruiting restrictions:
No recruitment of any of the prospects involved in the violations (self-imposed by the university).
Reduction of fall evaluation days by four, from 42 to 38, during the fall 2017 evaluation period (self-imposed by the university).
No engagement in off-campus recruiting activities at the involved high school from Sept. 1, 2017, to Aug. 31, 2018 (self-imposed by the university).
Suspension of each involved assistant coach from off-campus recruiting activities for 42 days during the fall 2017 evaluation period (self-imposed by the university)."
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