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Dr. Saturday

Spurrier optimistic Gamecocks won’t face serious punishment

Graham Watson
Dr. Saturday

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What? Steve Spurrier worry?

The South Carolina coach believes his program will not face punishment from the NCAA for the allegations that the organization levied against it on Monday.

The NCAA said South Carolina received $55,000 in impermissible benefits stemming from arranged rental agreements at the Whitney Hotel, an establishment near campus, and its dealings with the Student Athlete Mentoring Foundation.

The NCAA said South Carolina failed to monitor either situation and the result could be a major violation.

"I hope we're not in serious trouble. I don't think we're going to be," Spurrier said Tuesday. "You work these things out and do what they say."

South Carolina has until Dec. 14 to respond to the allegations and will meet with the NCAA infractions committee in Los Angels on Feb. 17-18.

According to the NCAA, 10 South Carolina football players were given rooms at the Whitney Hotel for a reduced rate of $14.59 per day or roughly $438 per month. The going rate for stays longer than three months is $57 per day or $1,710 per month. Nine of those football players also asked for deferred payments on their rent, another perk that was not offered to non-athlete tenants.

Student Athlete Mentoring Foundation and its president Steve Gordon and treasurer Kevin Lahn provided $8,000 in impermissible benefits related to recruiting. Gamecocks freshman receiver Damiere Byrd, who received benefits from the group, was suspended for four games by the NCAA and had to pay back $2,700 before being eligible for competition.

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