The Daily Gamecock

NCAA rules former Gamecock men's basketball coach violated ethical conduct rules

<p>&nbsp;Colonial Life Arena&nbsp;is home to the University of South Carolina men's and women's basketball teams.</p>

 Colonial Life Arena is home to the University of South Carolina men's and women's basketball teams.

Former South Carolina men's basketball assistant coach Lamont Evans has violated NCAA ethical conduct rules, the NCAA announced on Feb. 25.

The university has self-imposed sanctions that include two years of probation, a $5,000 fine and a plethora of recruiting restrictions.

Evans accepted "between approximately $3,300 and $5,800 in bribes from an individual associated with a professional sports agent," according to the NCAA. 

The Department of Justice began an investigation of fraud and corruption in college basketball in September 2017, and USC was first made aware of the allegations in January 2020.

According to the report, Evans "agreed to arrange meetings with a South Carolina student-athlete and his family and influence them to retain the agent’s services" in exchange for the payment he received.

Although the said meetings never took place, the Division I Committee on Infractions reported that Evans' conduct "violated NCAA rules and does serious harm to the integrity of college sports."

The university said the NCAA's three-year investigation showed "the violation in question was limited to a former assistant coach's lone concealed actions and that Athletics had the systems and personnel in place to demonstrate an ethical and compliant department." 

"I am proud of how our department handled this situation," South Carolina athletics director Ray Tanner said in a statement. "Once we became aware of this situation, we were proactive in determining what happened and worked in cooperation with the Department of Justice and the NCAA. The NCAA's acceptance of our self-imposed sanctions validates our commitment and the work done by our compliance staff, administration and coaches."

South Carolina men's basketball head coach Frank Martin said he has led the program "with transparency, an open-door policy and with integrity" through his career.

"[I]t is in my heart and it is at the core of who I am," South Carolina men's basketball head coach Frank Martin said in a statement. "We move forward, and I'm thankful to have this situation behind us."

The full list of penalties listed in the NCAA report are as follows:

  • Two years of probation.
  • A $5,000 fine (self-imposed by the university).
  • A reduction of men’s basketball official visits to 25 during the 2020-21/2021-22 rolling two-year period (self-imposed by the university).
  • A prohibition of unofficial visits in men’s basketball for a total of four weeks during the fall of 2021 and/or 2022 (self-imposed by the university).
  • A prohibition of men’s basketball telephone recruiting for a six-week period during the 2020-21 and/or 2021-22 academic years (self-imposed by the university).
  • A 17-day reduction in the number of men’s basketball recruiting person days during the 2020-21 and/or 2021-22 academic years (self-imposed by the university).
  • A 10-year period of time in which any NCAA member school employing Evans must restrict him from any athletically related duties unless it shows cause why the restrictions should not apply.

Any visit to a college campus by a recruit or his parents that is paid for by the college is an official visit. Visits that are paid for by the recruit or their parents are unofficial visits.


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