COLUMBIA -- South Carolina's athletic department started criminal background checks on prospective coaches and administrators a few months after the NCAA placed the Gamecocks football program on three years probation.
The measure was among several corrective actions University President Andrew Sorensen outlined to the NCAA Committee on Infractions in a letter dated Aug. 15, 2006, released Monday by the university after a request by The Associated Press.
The letter was part of yearly updates required by the NCAA during the probationary period, which ended for South Carolina's football team last Friday.
South Carolina was penalized after the NCAA found 11 violations, five of them major, that occurred during the tenure of ex-football coach Lou Holtz. Holtz was not named in any of the infractions.
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As part of the school's summary disposition report sent to the NCAA committee, South Carolina said it would "perform detailed background checks on all new coaching staff members and athletics department administrators. The institution will utilize the Southeastern Conference and NCAA national office staff to check on potential employee's histories relative to NCAA compliance and will utilize outside resources to perform criminal background checks as necessary," the letter said.
• PRO FOOTBALL -- Michael Strahan had what he wanted -- a Super Bowl championship to add to a resume featuring seven Pro Bowls and two sack records. Now it was time to leave football and leave the New York Giants after 15 years in the NFL.
Four months after a stunning Super Bowl victory over the previously unbeaten New England Patriots, the 36-year-old Strahan informed Giants co-owner John Mara he was done. He will be walking away from a $4 million contract for the 2008 season.
• NBA -- It didn't take Terry Porter long to understand the expectations facing him as he takes over the Phoenix Suns.
One of the first questions at Porter's introductory news conference on Monday came from Phil Gordon, a Suns fan who also happens to be the mayor of Phoenix.
As many in the US Airways Center practice court laughed, general manager Steve Kerr turned to Porter and said, "The chair's hot already, isn't it?"
• Michael Curry will be the Detroit Pistons head coach next season after only one year as an assistant.
A former teammate is not surprised.
Curry is set be introduced as Detroit's new coach at a news conference Tuesday, Pistons president of basketball operations Joe Dumars told The Associated Press.
• Vinny Del Negro has been offered the Chicago Bulls head coaching job, according to a person within the league who is familiar with the situation.
The person spoke on the condition of anonymity because an announcement had not been made Monday.