USCs athletics compliance officer signed off on allowing Gamecock football players living at The Whitney Hotel, a living arrangement that the NCAA later found violated its rules on preferential treatment and impermissible discounts for athletes, according to documents on the on-going investigation obtained Friday by The State.
The National College Athletics Association contacted USC in August about the living arrangements and determined the institutions initial evaluation of those arrangements was flawed, the documents obtained under the states open-records law show.
The NCAA said the hotels management and USCS athletics department should not have compared the Whitneys rate for the football players to local apartments. Instead, its investigators said, the comparison should have been the extended-rate charged other Whitney guests.
The records show that, altogether, a dozen football players stayed at the Devine Street hotel since the 2009 spring semester. Ten of those are current student-athletes. All have moved out.
In statements provided to the NCAA, at least four of the football players contend they did not know the $450 monthly payment violated NCAA rules. They said they were paying rates similar to some of their friends in other off-campus housing.