USF's athletic department on Tuesday released a response to nine pages of allegations from academic adviser Myrtice Landers, saying that after a thorough review of 16 separate allegations, no violations of NCAA rules had occured.
"The NCAA was made aware of the allegations and kept apprised of the review process and the outcome," the summary response reads. "The review found that there was no evidence to support reporting any violations to the NCAA. Lastly, contrary to the allegations, the review found a culture of compliance and a strong commitment to institutional control."
To read USF's response in full, click here.
Landers was to be fired from her job as an academic adviser this summer, 11 months short of being fully vested for retirement, and she and attorney Wil Florin alleged that her dismissal was an act of racial discrimination. After meeting with USF administrators, Landers was given a new job outside the athletic department with the same salary and benefits, allowing her to reach her retirement. At that point, she withdrew her racial discrimination claim and gave USF nine pages of documents that claimed to show "more egregious" NCAA violations than the one she committed in January in giving $326 in textbooks to a non-scholarship athlete.
Landers' allegations concerned USF's academic support and compliance staff, claiming that others had given non-scholarship athletes textbooks. USF's review included not only assistant athletic director Rick Stumpf, who was not mentioned in the allegations, but a representative of USF's general counsel's office, as well as Joseph D'Antonio Jr., the Big East's senior associate commissioner for compliance and governance, on hand "to impartially observe and advise with regard to process and procedure."
USF released not only its four-page response but Landers' original nine pages of allegations, which attempt to show a "lack of institutional control" by athletic director Doug Woolard. That may have more to do with Florin also representing former USF football coach Jim Leavitt, who is seeking as much as $7.1-million from USF in a wrongful termination suit.
USF's response does mention that "a number of athletes" who were not on scholarship accidentally received textbooks from the USF Bookstore this summer when the store used a list of scholarship athletes from the Office of Student Orientation, rather than one supplied by USF's compliance office. Once the discrepancy was discovered, the cost of all books incorrectly given to non-scholarship athletes was billed to their university accounts and not paid by the athletic department, according to the response. USF's compliance office now oversees the return of textbooks after completion of a semester.