COLUMBIA, S.C. (FOX Carolina) - The National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) says allegations that a former assistant basketball coach who worked at the University of South Carolina accepted bribes and influenced a former student-athlete to retain an agency must be reviewed by a hearing panel.
In a Notice of Allegations released by the NCAA and posted online to the Gamecocks' website, the NCAA says former assistant coach Lamont Evans, who was also the lead recruiter for the team, violated the NCAA principles of ethical conduct. It's alleged from August 2015 through March 2016 that Evans influenced former student-athlete P.J. Dozier and Dozier's family to meet with and retain ASM Sports, a professional athlete agency. Evans allegedly accepted just shy of $6,000 of supplemental pay in the form of bribes from Christian Dawkins, a runner for the agency. This was in exchange for Evans' agreement to arrange meetings with the Doziers and influence them to retain ASM Sports.
Dozier now plays in the NBA for the Denver Nuggets. He's thus far played for the Boston Celtics, and played for the Oklahoma City Thunder while splitting time with their G League affiliate, the Oklahoma City Blue.
The NCAA says the allegation could be a Level 1 violation, a severe breach of conduct. This is because according to the NCAA, the alleged meetings:
- provided or were intended to provide a substantial or extensive impermissible benefit to a staff member
- involved unethical conduct
- were intentional or showed reckless indifference to the NCAA constitution and bylaws
- seriously undermined or threatened the integrity of the NCAA Collegiate Model
- demonstrated egregious conduct inconsistent with the affirmative responsibility and behavioral expectations of college coaches
The Gamecocks have seen a history of some high-level violations. As outlined in the notice, this history includes violations from assistant football coaches as recently as October 2019 and dating back to 1967. However, U of SC has self-reported other lower-level violations as well, which could act as a mitigating factor.
Evans also has no history of previous violations in his eight-year career, as noted by the NCAA.
Ray Tanner, athletic director for the Gamecocks, released this statement Thursday:
"The University of South Carolina has received a Notice of Allegations from the NCAA related to a former men's basketball assistant coach. As expected, this does not involve any institutional, current coaching staff or former or current student-athlete eligibility issues. We will continue to defend our program and institution in this process with the NCAA."
Evans pleaded guilty to bribery conspiracy charges in federal court in June 2019, while he was a coach at Oklahoma State University. A judge sentenced him to three months in prison. He was also ordered to forfeit $22,000 and work 100 hours of community service.