New compliance director has experience

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) -- South Carolina wanted its new compliance director to have experience in dealing with the NCAA. The athletic department got that in Ohio State's Chris Rogers.

"I know what you want to ask: Why hire someone from Ohio State?" Rogers said in a phone interview. His answer: "Wouldn't you want someone who's gone through it at the highest level?"

Rogers was named the head of compliance for a Gamecock athletic department less than two weeks away from appearing before the NCAA Committee of Infractions for violations that involved the football team. He served in the Buckeyes' athletic department since 2007 and was the primary compliance contact for a football program hit hard because of NCAA violations.

Ohio State eventually was given a one-bowl ban among other penalties for a scandal that involved players taking cash and tattoos in exchange for jerseys, rings and other Buckeyes memorabilia.

Rogers acknowledged the challenge of heading to work and Ohio State having to answer new allegations almost daily. He said he took the approach that he had a job to do and would not allow emotion to get in the way.

"I kept my head down," Rogers said.

Rogers was officially named South Carolina's associate athletic director for compliance. He'll report both to university president Harris Pastides and athletic director Eric Hyman.

Hyman is happy to have Rogers join his department.

"He has extensive experience with high-profile, highly competitive programs," Hyman said in a released statement. "He certainly understands the NCAA's expectations for a top-level compliance operation."

South Carolina has had its own problems adhering to NCAA rules.

Last September, the governing body accused the school of receiving $55,000 in improper benefits for athletes staying at a Columbia hotel at a reduced rate. The NCAA also noted the university's improper involvement with a Delaware-based mentoring group whose president and treasurer are boosters and South Carolina graduates.

South Carolina did not dispute the allegations in its response to the NCAA this past December and offered a three-year period of probation.

The school also said it would pay a fine of $18,500 for four football players who played while ineligible in 2009 because of these violations and reduce its number of official visits for its football and track and field teams.

The university has disassociated itself from three boosters, including Student Athlete Mentoring Foundation president Steve Gordon and Kevin Lahn, and demoted former head of compliance Jennifer Stiles for her office's role in signing off on the hotel arrangements. Stiles is currently still working in the compliance department.

South Carolina officials, including football coach Steve Spurrier will appear before the NCAA Committee on Infractions in Los Angeles on Feb. 17-18. Rogers said he would attend the meeting as the incoming leader, although he expected to mostly observe the meeting.

He'll begin the job in March and spend the first several weeks listening and learning about South Carolina and its compliance guidelines. "I won't have any preconceived notions," he said.

Rogers, who has also worked in compliance departments at Utah and Minnesota, said he read through the NCAA investigation and South Carolina's response in researching the job.

South Carolina senior associate athletic director Judy Van Horn has known Rogers since her time working in Michigan's administration and believed "Chris is the right person to lead our compliance department."

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