The University of South Carolina's athletic department is looking into whether star defensive end Jadeveon Clowney has been in contact with agent JAY Z.
Such contact could constitute an NCAA violation, which could jeopardize Clowney's eligibility with the Gamecocks, depending on the circumstances of the contact. NCAA rules prohibit players accepting cash or things of value from agents before their eligibility has expired.
South Carolina Assistant Director of Athletics for Media Relations Steve Fink confirmed that the matter is being checked out by the Gamecocks' compliance office, calling it "standard operating procedure" in an email to NFL Draft 365. Compliance officers are charged with making sure coaches and players are cognizant of NCAA rules, and investigating any potential violations.
The rap mogul JAY Z recently jumped into talent representation with Roc Nation Sports. Clowney, a junior, is considered one of the top players in college football; he is No. 1 on Daniel Jeremiah's Talented Top 50 list.
South Carolina coach Steve Spurrier indicated to ESPN Tuesday that Clowney has a good understanding of NCAA rules. And while some coaches don't let on that their underclassmen may be making an early declaration for the NFL draft, Spurrier wasn't shy to suggest that this season could well be the last for Clowney.
"All of our conversations (with Clowney) are wait until you have played your last game at South Carolina," Spurrier said. "When the bowl game is over this coming season he's free to accept any amount of money anybody wants to give him. But until then he has to be a student-athlete like all the other guys or he's not going to be eligible. He's done a good job of knowing that."
Sounds like the veteran coach is all but resigned to the notion that Clowney will be a three-year player for the Gamecocks.
Follow Chase Goodbread on Twitter @ChaseGoodbread.