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Gilchrist's parents dispute allegations against USF basketball

3

December

TAMPA -- The parents of USF sophomore forward Gus Gilchrist on Thursday disputed some allegations of potential NCAA violations made against the Bulls in an online report and said they have supplied USF with documents to help prove those allegations are false.

"There's no truth to it. It's nothing but garbage. He has no proof," said Gilchrist's father, Augustus "Gil" Gilchrist.

Among the allegations in a Fanhouse.com report was that Terrelle Woody, a video and conditioning assistant on Stan Heath's staff and a trainer and close friend of Gilchrist's, took Gilchrist to an Orlando Magic playoff game on June 11. His parents e-mailed the Times an airplane itinerary that shows Gilchrist flying home to Maryland that same day, and his mother said she personally delivered to USF this week a letter signed by a doctor in Maryland stating that he examined Gilchrist during an appointment the next day.

"My son was here with me watching the game on TV when they said he was at the game. It's a flat-out lie," the elder Gilchrist said. "He was nowhere near that place. We (had) proof of his flight to show the athletic director. Our reputation is at risk here."

The Fanhouse report alleged that Woody drove Gilchrist home to Maryland after the spring semester this year, which may constitute an improper benefit, but his parents said Gilchrist has never driven from Tampa to Maryland because airfare is typically as low as $62 for a one-way ticket. They e-mailed the Times itineraries for four other flights to Baltimore this year.

"It takes 15-17 hours to drive here. It would cost more to drive one way than it would to fly. That doesn't make sense," his father said.

"Why would someone take a ride like that when he has parents that can buy him a ticket to come home?" his mother Donna said.

The parents' comments are the first disputing the Fanhouse report, as USF and Heath have not responded beyond an initial comment to say that they would "carefully review the issues raised" and address anything that warrants action. Gilchrist has emerged as USF's leading scorer this season, averaging 18.8 points.

Gilchrist's father said his son's relationship with Woody, who got a job on Heath's staff after Gilchrist transferred to USF from Maryland, has not been portrayed accurately. His son was the best man in Woody's wedding, he said, but what hasn't been written is that the elder Gilchrist said he was a groomsman in the wedding, as was Maryland basketball star Greivis Vasquez and George Mason's Will Thomas, who also trained with Woody.

"We want to set the record straight that we are in our son's life," his father said. "When there's a big decision to be made, we are his parents. ... That's my son, and anybody that becomes that close to my son, I have to be able to trust."

Another report from Fanhouse.com on Thursday, citing unnamed school sources, stated the NCAA is now investigating USF's basketball program for the allegations raised in the original story. The NCAA has a policy of not confirming its investigations, and USF declined to comment, sticking with its original statement. The Times filed a public records request asking for a notice of inquiry from the NCAA, and USF's office of the general counsel replied that it would check with the custodian of such records in the athletic department.

Fanhouse also reported that point guard Anthony Crater, a midyear transfer from Ohio State expected to make his season debut on Dec. 13, will be suspended between four to six games for violating the school's substance abuse policy with a second failed drug test. Heath said Thursday he will address Crater's status next week but not before.

[Last modified: Thursday, May 27, 2010 7:40pm]

    

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