In addition to losing top scorer Joi Scott, who transferred, the NIU women’s basketball team may face punishment for NCAA rules violations. Scott, who would be a junior this season, lived at the house of LaVerne Ghyant [cq], the director of NIU’s Center for Black Studies, for about a month after the spring semester, Scott said. While there, Scott accepted money for a plane ride to see her mom, accepted rides from Ghyant [cq] and did her laundry at Ghyant’s[cq] house -- all NCAA violations.Ms Gyant is a decent person who takes an interest in the troubles some of her charges face, although what transpired might be above and beyond the call of duty.
“It’s a situation where a staff member didn’t realize they [cq] were doing something that was illegal,” said Dee Abrahamson, NIU associate athletics director.The coach's relationship with Ms Scott is no different from her relationship with any other player: she is denying any responsibility.
Abrahamson said the NCAA likely won’t react until the Mid-American Conference has looked into the matter.
Scott, who hails from Ohio, said Ghyant served as a mentor and mother figure to her.
“I had [Ghyant] [cq] for a class,” Scott said. “I talked to her about all my problems and she offered me to stay at her house. I needed someone to relate to and talk to.
“If I would’ve known that I would have to pay back all the money she gave to me, I wouldn’t have taken it.”
Scott said she is being charged the rate of staying in a hotel and doing laundry for the time at Ghyant’s [cq] house. She estimated it would be about $2,000 that she has to pay back, but said an agreement may be made to give it to a charity of her choice.
“My relationship with Joi was no different than with any other student,” Ghyant [cq] said in a published report.
Scott said her transfer did not have to do with the NCAA violations being reported, but because her boyfriend, Rome Sanders from the NIU men’s basketball team, left DeKalb. Sanders transferred to Florida A&M after he was found guilty of a battery charge on March 19 when he got into an argument with Scott.So yet again, a promising recruit fails to develop either as a player or as a person, and it's not the fault of the person who recruited her. You just can't make up stuff like this.
“First of all, Coach [Carol] Hammerle kicked me off the team after I already committed to another school,” Scott said. “I think she did that so it would seem like I left for another reason rather than the real reason. I left because of Rome. He transferred so that gave me the open door to leave.”
Scott, who first transferred to Jacksonville University before ending up at Murray State, will have to sit out the 2004-05 season as a transfer.
“I terminated her from the team because of the violations,” Hammerle said. “That was the decision I made as I thought was best for the program. I wish her the best.
“I hope for the sake of the program and the players that the NCAA doesn’t place any sanctions on us.”