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USF finds no NCAA violations following internal investigation

After a three-month internal investigation, the NCAA ruled in USF’s favor Tuesday regarding accusations made by a former athletics academic adviser that other employees in the department provided benefits to student-athletes.

The 16 allegations that Myrtice Landers levied against USF, including that other advisers gave free textbooks to student-athletes who did not have a scholarship and that it was “impermissible to test an athlete for a learning disability,” were either found to have no supporting evidence or follow NCAA bylaws.

“The review states very clearly that the athletics program does have a strong culture of compliance,” University spokesman Michael Hoad said in an e-mail.

The review was conducted by USF Assistant Director of Athletics Richard Stumpf. USF Associate General Counsel Colin Mailloux attended interviews of those involved with Landers’ accusations to offer legal advice, and Senior Associate Commissioner for Compliance and Governance for the Big East Conference Joseph Antonio observed all interviews as well.

Landers, who was placed on administrative leave July 15 for providing $326 worth of textbooks to a female student athlete, sued the University two weeks later for racial discrimination and was terminated Aug. 2. Two days later, she was placed back on administrative leave while USF began reviewing her case.

Landers was rehired by the University after the two sides resolved their issues through mediation on Aug. 12.