TAMPA — The parents of USF sophomore forward Gus Gilchrist 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 disprove the accusations.
"There's no truth to it. It's nothing but garbage. He has no proof," Augustus "Gil" Gilchrist said Thursday of the allegations concerning his son.
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 NBA playoff game June 11. His parents e-mailed the St. Petersburg 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."
Fanhouse.com reported 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 showed 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," Mr. Gilchrist said.
The parents' comments are the first disputing the Fanhouse.com 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 the elder Gilchrist said he also was a groomsman in the wedding, as was Maryland basketball star Greivis Vasquez and George Mason's Will Thomas, who also trained with Woody.
Woody is also accused of improperly supervising "open gym" workouts with USF players and coaching players while working in a noncoaching position.
A second 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 athletic department.
Fanhouse.com also reported that point guard Anthony Crater, a midyear transfer from Ohio State expected to make his season debut Dec. 13, will be suspended four to six games for violating the school's substance-abuse policy with a second failed drug test. Heath said Thursday that he will address Crater's status next week but not before.
APPLE DEAL: USF's athletic department has entered into a partnership with Apple Inc. to provide MacBook laptop computers to all 461 student-athletes, athletic director Doug Woolard told the board of trustees. The partnership, believed to be the first of its kind, will allow USF's athletes to be online and working on classwork wherever they are. The NCAA allows a school to provide laptops to athletes "on a check-out and retrieval basis."
UPGRADES APPROVED: USF's board of trustees approved a financial proposal to fund $30 million in facility upgrades, including a new basketball practice facility on the south side of the Sun Dome, new stadiums for baseball and softball, and new football practice fields.