USF reports secondary violation in basketball
USF's athletic department has self-reported a secondary NCAA violation after four basketball players participated in a summer basketball league before getting permission from the athletic department, the school said in a statement Thursday night.
The players -- returning starting guards Chris Howard, Dominique Jones and Jesus Verdejo, along with reserve forward Aris Williams -- admitted to USF's compliance office that they'd played in the league before asking permission, according to USF. USF's statement said the league was permissible and certified, but the violation took place because the proper authorization had not been given. The school is asking the NCAA to reinstate the players' eligibility.
"It's a technical violation, a clerical error. Our understanding is that there will be no suspensions," said Chris Freet, USF's assistant athletic director for communications, who said coach Stan Heath would not comment on the violation.
Freet said seven USF basketball players participated in summer leagues, and three -- guard Mike Mercer, forward Gus Gilchrist and center B.J. Ajayi -- notified USF's compliance office in advance to get the required approval. The other four did not.
It's the third secondary violation self-reported by USF involving the men's basketball program in the last 14 months under coach Stan Heath. USF reported a violation in May involving Heath's coaching staff mistakenly spending nine more days on the road recruiting than is allowed by the NCAA. USF recommended a penalty of 14 days to be taken away from USF from the normal total of 130 during the 2008-09 school year as a result.
USF also had an issue with a summer tournament last season, as center Kentrell Gransberry and Jones both participated in a non-sanctioned tournament where they could have won money. Neither player won any money, and Gransberry was suspended from USF's season opener for playing in one game; Jones faced no penalty because he had not yet started classes at USF.