South Carolina Commits NCAA Violations

The University of South Carolina football program broke NCAA rules during the recruitment of a North Carolina prep star, the school's cell phone records show. Those same bills also display hours of conversation with a known South Carolina fan, who drove the football player to Columbia on a recruiting visit.

University of South Carolina cell phone records obtained through the Freedom of Information Act by, which is part of the network, show that a South Carolina assistant coach called Travian Robertson of Laurinburg, N.C., during the month of July which is a violation.

According to NCAA rules, phone calls to a prospect or a prospect's relatives or legal guardian(s) may not be made after May 31, or before September 1 of the beginning of the prospect's senior year in high school.

The cell phone bills show that an assistant coach called the cell phone owned by Robertson's father, Tony, twice on July 23, just two days after the younger Robertson visited Clemson and two days before he visited South Carolina for the final time.

On July 27, Robertson, who is listed as one of the top defensive ends in the nation at Scotland County High by, committed to the Gamecocks. The commitment came less than a week after he had rated his visit to Clemson as perfect. He was expected to commit to the Tigers officially on July 27 at a press conference after having informed Clemson coaches his intentions to do so.

"I didn't really commit," Robertson said. "They took it the wrong way."

When he took his final visit to South Carolina before committing, he was driven to the school some 130 miles away by Kevin Milligan, Robertson said.

Milligan is continuing a long-time family tradition by serving as publisher of the town's newspaper, The Laurinburg Exchange. He also serves as president of a local country club.

Milligan's grandmother, Doris Bowie Milligan, was listed in the 2005 football program as a full scholarship donor to South Carolina. His grandfather, Jim Milligan, graduated from South Carolina.

Just during the month of July, 81 cell phone contacts totaling 305 minutes between members of the Gamecocks coaching staff and Milligan took place.

On more than one occasion, contact between the coaches, Milligan and Robertson were intertwined.

South Carolina defensive line coach Brad Lawing had the most contact, reaching Milligan 43 times for 185 minutes. David Reaves, the recruiting coordinator, contacted Milligan 36 times for a total of 101 minutes. Nix called him twice for 19 minutes.

Milligan would be classified as a booster under NCAA guidelines.

According to rule 13.02.12, "a ‘representative of the institution's athletics interests' is an individual, independent agency, corporate entity (e.g., apparel or equipment manufacturer) or other organization who is known (or who should have been known) by a member of the institution's executive or athletics administration to:

"Be assisting or to have been requested (by the athletics department staff) to assist in the recruitment of prospective student-athletes;

"Be assisting or to have assisted in providing benefits to enrolled student-athletes or their families."

According to Robertson, Milligan drove him, his father and his high school football coach Mark Barnes to the campus in Columbia, on July 25. A booster driving a recruit to a campus visit is a violation of NCAA rules.

Attempts to reach Milligan Sunday night were unsuccessful.

Lawing is no stranger to being connected with questionable recruiting.

In a Memphis U.S. District Court in February of 2005, former Trezevant High School head coach Lynn Lang testified under oath that Lawing, then a Michigan State assistant coach in January of 2000, asked him how much it would take to buy the services of one of his star players.

"Lawing wanted me to get into his car and ride around with him," Lang said. "That's when he started telling me – now this is when Nick Saban had left and Bobby Williams took over – that he had a new coach in town who was willing to pay more money (than other schools) and he was asking me how much it would take."

Lang said he told Lawing it would take more than $100,000. Shortly thereafter, the Spartans stopped recruiting the player.

Note: It was orginally reported on that South Carolina assistant coach Tyrone Nix was the assistant coach that called Travian Robertson during the dead period when in fact it was later confirmed by Steve Spurrier himself that it was another assistant coach. Top Stories