USC Men's Basketball Receives Notice of Allegations

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The USC men’s basketball program received a Notice of Allegations from the NCAA last week.

The notice wasn’t a surprise to USC, which has been aware of the possibility since firing former assistant coach Tony Bland in Jan. 2018 for his involvement in the college basketball corruption scandal.

"USC has received a Notice of Allegations from the NCAA related to a former coach in the men's basketball program,” USC’s full statement said on Friday, referencing Bland. “USC has cooperated with the NCAA since it first became aware of the issues raised in the Notice of Allegations. Because the notice involves a pending NCAA case, USC is unable to discuss any of the allegations in or facts relating to the case. USC looks forward to an expeditious resolution of this matter."

The allegations revolve around Bland, who was part of the FBI’s investigation into corruption in college basketball. Bland pleaded guilty to a felony count of conspiracy to commit bribery in January, admitting he accepted $4,100 in cash to encourage players to use Christian Dawkins’ sports management company after college.

This summer, Bland was sentenced to two years of probation and 100 hours of community service. He won’t serve jail time, while Dawkins was sentenced in March to six months in prison.

Kansas, North Carolina State and Oklahoma State also received a Notice of Allegations related to the investigation earlier this year. The NCAA will likely hand out penalties at a later date.

Michael Blanton, USC’s vice president for professionalism and ethics, sent a victim impact statement to the U.S. District Court in New York in June. Blanton laid out how the scandal had already impacted USC.

“The actions of Mr. Bland and his co-conspirators have significantly damaged the brand of USC as an institution, the USC athletic department, and its men’s basketball program,” Blanton wrote in his letter. “Further, their actions have prompted an NCAA investigation that may result in penalties. Lastly, USC was forced to expend significant amounts of money to investigate Mr. Bland’s conduct and to cooperate with the government as it has prosecuted this case.”

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