COLUMBIA, SC (TheBigSpur.com) -- It's the early National Signing Day for the 2018 class, but South Carolina has some recruiting restrictions going forward after two assistant coaches committed NCAA violations.
According to the release from the NCAA, two assistant 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. ... The 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 violations occurred when the head football coach and the strength coach at a high school pulled players aside for special workouts for South Carolina's coaches on two separate occasions. On one occasion, four players were pulled out while on the second occasion, three of the same four players performed directed workouts in front of the Gamecocks' coaches.
In July 2016, the NCAA enforcement staff received information regarding potential recruiting violations by the South Carolina football staff at an in-state high school. Shortly thereafter, in August 2016, the enforcement staff interviewed two of the involved prospects.
The South Carolina assistant coaches nor the high school were named in the NCAA's report.
The school self-imposed four restrictions plus a $5,000 fine, which were accepted by the NCAA. The penalties include:
- 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).