The University of South Carolina is not the target of the Department of Justice investigation and has received no information to indicate that any current or former member of the USC staff is involved in the federal investigation, other than the previously identified former assistant men’s basketball coach Lamont Evans, athletics director Ray Tanner said in a statement released Friday.
“To proactively demonstrate our commitment to integrity and compliance, we will hire an independent third party that specializes in NCAA matters to conduct a review of the issues that relate to the federal investigation. Our review will be conducted in coordination with the Department of Justice and the NCAA in a collaborative manner,” Tanner said.
Evans, who served on coach Frank Martin’s staff at USC from 2012-16, worked as an assistant at Oklahoma State last season before being fired Thursday.
Evans has been charged with taking at least $22,000 in bribes to direct basketball players to agents or financial advisers while at South Carolina and Oklahoma State.
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In the court papers, Evans was alleged to have worked with Christian Dawkins, a former NBA agent, and Munish Sood, a financial adviser.
At a meeting held near the South Carolina campus on March 3, 2016, Evans, Dawkins, Sood and an undercover “cooperating witness” discussed a then current USC player – known in the report as “Player-3.”
Dawkins said that paying Evans would not only lead to signing “Player-3” as a client “but also lead to signing five (Player-3s) down the line,” according to the documents.
“You’ve got to get in bed with somebody like (Evans),” Dawkins said, “so you got complete access to a kid, because if a coach says nobody can come around, can’t nobody (expletive) come around.”
Assistant coaches at Auburn, Southern Cal and Arizona also were arrested and accused of taking bribes.
Two executives at Adidas were among those named in the report.
Fallout has included Louisville coach Rick Pitino and AD Tom Jurich being placed on administrative leave – “effectively fired,” his lawyer said. Louisville uses Adidas shoes and gear.
In the SEC, Auburn – where Chuck Person was the assistant arrested – has promised to refund men’s basketball season tickets.
Tanner vowed to keep a close watch on USC programs.
“The athletics department has an extensive education and monitoring program and conducts regular training sessions with coaches and student athletes on NCAA rules,” Tanner said. “Our efforts have been praised and we expect this review will affirm that once again.”
Tanner thanked USC fans for their “continued support of Gamecock Basketball and look forward to the opening exhibition game October 30 at Colonial Life Arena.”