Living the high life in a posh downtown hotel is about to end for 12 South Carolina student-athletes, including 10 football players.
The NCAA released its notice of allegations to South Carolina stating that 12 student-athletes received $47,000 worth of impermissible benefits from the Whitney Hotel, a luxury establishment near campus.
According to the NCAA, South Carolina athletes were given reduced room rates and nine athletes were given extra time to pay their rent. Athletes were given rooms that were normally rented $57 a night for extended stays of three months or more for $14.59 a night. So, instead of paying $1,710 per month like a regular tenant, South Carolina athletes were paying roughly $438 a month.
Not a bad discount.
The statement named three football players, which were blacked out, but The State noted that 10 football players were involved in the allegations and that nine had deferred payments on their rent. The three players named are the most egregious offenders as they paid the reduce rate for 410 days, 459 days and 268 days. All three players made special arrangement to defer their payments. The impermissible benefits for the three football players constituted $39,690 of the $47,000 penalty.
The letter also implicates the school's Student Athlete Mentoring Foundation and its president Steve Gordon and treasurer Kevin Lahn, who provided $8,000 in impermissible benefits related to recruiting.
One of those recruited players is freshman wide receiver Damiere Byrd, who is currently serving a four-game NCAA suspension.
These are major violations and South Carolina has until Dec. 14 to respond. It also could appear in front of the NCAA Committee on Infraction Feb. 17-18.