South Carolina escapes additional penalties

South Carolina's cooperation with the NCAA and diligence in finding out the truth helped it avoid additional penalties, the NCAA announced Friday.

The NCAA accepted South Carolina's self-imposed sanctions, which included three years of probation and scholarship cuts in football, and elected not to tack on harsher penalties such as a postseason ban. South Carolina officials were optimistic that their self-imposed sanctions would suffice, but there were never any guarantees until the NCAA releases its report.

Britton Banowsky, the chairman of the NCAA's Committee on Infractions, said South Carolina's case was one of the best he'd seen from a process standpoint.

"In some cases, they went even beyond what the NCAA staff was doing," Banowsky said of South Carolina officials. " We see that less likely than the other approach, and this report reflects how pleased the committee was with their diligence. They took the interview process and discovery process to a higher level."

The Gamecocks will forfeit six scholarships over two seasons and pay a $18,500 fine. The university also disassociated the boosters involved with the infractions, which included athletes receiving reduced rates at the Whitney Hotel in Columbia, S.C.

The only real change from South Carolina's self-imposed penalties was that the six scholarships will be forfeited in 2013 and 2014 instead of a three-year period from 2012 to 2014.

"The university regrets the past actions and decisions by individuals that resulted in violations of NCAA legislation," South Carolina athletic director Eric Hyman said in a statement. "We are pleased, however, that the committee on infractions found the corrective actions we have taken and the penalties we have self-imposed reflect the university's commitment to full compliance with NCAA rules."

South Carolina coach Steve Spurrier was not named in the NCAA's notice of allegations, but was part of the university party that appeared before the Committee on Infractions in February.