South Carolina fined, put on 1-year probation by NCAA

South Carolina's football program was put on probation for one year and fined $10,000 by the NCAA on Tuesday after a negotiated resolution agreement over a self-reported infraction was reached.

The infraction, considered a Level II violation, involved impermissible off-campus contact between an unnamed Gamecocks assistant coach and a high school sophomore recruit in May 2018.

According to ESPN sources, IMG Academy defensive lineman Demonte Capehart was the player involved. In June 2018, he committed to Clemson.

The coach sent 13 impermissible messages to the recruited player from between January and June of 2018, according to a school release.

ESPN sources identified the coach as former South Carolina defensive line coach Lance Thompson, who left the school in January after three seasons and currently is the recruiting coordinator and defensive line coach at Florida Atlantic.

"Once our compliance staff learned of the violations in question, we conducted a thorough internal review and worked closely with the NCAA in the handling of this matter," South Carolina athletic director Ray Tanner said in a statement. "We are diligent in our compliance efforts, both proactively and reactively. When issues arise that counter our compliance culture, we are quick to respond with corrective measures."

Measures taken by South Carolina officials include: the coaching staff being banned from off-campus recruiting activity in the first two weeks of the 2019 spring evaluation period and the first four weeks of the 2019 fall evaluation period; evaluation days for the 2018-19 academic year getting reduced to 12; and phone calls and texts with recruits being restricted for a two-week period that began on Sept. 1.

Under terms of the negotiated agreement, South Carolina head coach Will Muschamp will be allowed to have off-campus contact with 10 recruits for two weeks in December, but the school no longer can recruit Capehart.

"As the head coach of the football program at the University of South Carolina, I am responsible for all facets of the program," Muschamp said in a statement. "I recognize that a violation occurred within my program and I have taken substantial corrective actions to ensure that similar instances do not continue to occur."

--Field Level Media

10/22/2019 23:44

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