Oops: Boyd featured on promotional party flier
USF redshirt freshman defensive back Spencer Boyd, who was suspended from the final three games of the Bulls' season, has made headlines in his hometown as one of four college football players featured in a promotional flier as "hosts" for a "Naughty or Nice" Christmas party in Fort Myers.
Boyd, who is from nearby Cape Coral, was featured in the online promo, along with Clemson standout Sammy Watkins, Florida's Jaylen Watkins and West Virginia's Brodrick Jenkins. By NCAA rules, student-athletes are not allowed to endorse or promote any products or services, even if they aren't compensated for such promotion.
The story was reported Monday night by the Fort Myers News-Press, saying that the NCAA was looking into the matter and compliance officials from Florida and West Virginia were sending cease-and-desist letters to the promoter, who said the players weren't paid. A USF spokesman said Tuesday that the matter had been forwarded to the Bulls' compliance office, but that the actions already taken by other schools were likely to resolve the issue. It's unlikely to impact Boyd's eligibility moving forward.
Boyd, 20, certainly seems to have been aware of the party and promotion -- it went out to more than 7,500 people on Facebook, and Boyd was one of about 120 who had RSVP'd on the social network site that he would be attending the event. The attention brought by the initial calls from the News-Press prompted an amusing string of posts from one of the event's promoters -- @DJLowKey15 on Twitter -- who has since removed the players' names from the flier as requested.
"don't tweet the flyer anymore. NCAA might see it," he wrote Monday afternoon. Later on Tuesday: "The flyer now reads... Hosted by 239s hottest college football players. But no names. I wonder if I'll still get (expletive) for that?"
You can still see the original image as Tweeted here; here's an awkwardly blocked-out version on the party's Facebook page, and a new version that is NCAA-violation-free. (Yes, that's a bootleg Stacy-Keibler-as-Santa pic.)
Clemson's Watkins has picked up some All-America honors this week, but Boyd had a relatively lowkey season for USF. Despite a long year of injuries in the defensive secondary, Boyd was limited to special-teams play this season, totaling three tackles and forcing a fumble that was recovered for a touchdown in USF's September win against Ball State. Boyd, who originally signed with Notre Dame and spent the spring 2010 semester in South Bend before transferring, practiced at receiver his first fall at USF and worked at safety and cornerback this past season.
USF coach Skip Holtz said on Nov. 21 that Boyd and running back Marcus Shaw had been suspended from the Miami and Louisville games due to "in-house things." Shaw returned for USF's regular-season finale with West Virginia, but Boyd remained suspended. It's unknown if he has been reinstated to return to team activities, though there aren't many significant team functions until winter conditioning begins next month.