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USF found 13 minor NCAA violations in '09-10

None are significant enough to merit any substantial penalty, but USF's athletic department has self-reported 13 secondary NCAA violations during the past year, according to public records obtained Thursday by the Times.

The NCAA characterizes secondary violations as "isolated and inadvertent" and providing only a minor recruiting or competitive advantage.

USF's men's basketball program was accused in a report from Fanhouse.com in November of numerous violations, and that story "prompted a visit and review by an NCAA Enforcement staff member," according to USF's self-report.

USF concluded that one secondary violation occurred -- basketball teams aren't allowed to have more than four players working out together with coaches in the first three weeks of the school year, and because a second group of players was stretching on the court while a first group's instructional session was ongoing, a violation occurred in the overlap. As a result, as a self-imposed penalty, USF will sacrifice one week of skilled instruction (players are allowed two hours in a week) in August. USF has reported six secondary violations in men's basketball since Heath was hired in 2007.

"It's routine for the NCAA to follow up on media reports," USF athletics spokesman Mike Hogan said in a statement. "In this situation, like others with the Big East or NCAA, we took a look together and confirmed a minor secondary violation. It was an inadvertent, technical violation that we self-reported to the Big East and the matter was resolved."

Assistant coach Reggie Hanson was cited for a violation in October, in which he gave $40 cash to recruit Pe'Shon Howard for meal reimbursements during an official visit. Recruits can be reimbursed for meal expenses, but coaches aren't allowed to do so with cash. The only penalty was a letter of admonishment.

USF's football program committed two violations -- during two recruiting weekends in January, Skip Holtz had nameplates with recruits' names posted on lockers, which is against NCAA rules, and at an October home game, USF allowed a group of 35 players on unofficial visits onto the sidelines with three minutes left in the game; recruits are only allowed on the playing field before or after games. The only penalties were letters of admonishment.

The only violation relating to women's basketball is expected to result in a two-game suspension in December for guard Sasha Bernard, a midyear transfer from Indiana. Bernard was not on scholarship this spring, but an academic advisor thought she was and provided her $326 in course-related books, an improper benefit for a walk-on. Bernard must repay the $326 to a charity of her choice to regain her eligibility, and USF has self-imposed a two-game suspension as its suggested penalty.

Other violations involved soccer, volleyball, softball, golf, track and tennis, none with substantial penalties.

[Last modified: Friday, July 16, 2010 11:26am]

    

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