Jadeveon Clowney (Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports)
Columbia, SC (WLTX) - University of South Carolina athletics officials say star defensive end Jadeveon Clowney did not have improper contact with rap mogul Jay-Z.
"Based on the facts that USC has gathered, Jadeveon Clowney has not had any impermissible conversations nor has he received any impermissible benefits," USC Assistant Athletics Director Steve Fink said Thursday.
Tuesday, a report surfaced on "Inside the League," a football insider website, that Clowney was in "regular contact" with Jay-Z, who's real name is Shawn Carter. Previous Coverage: USC Looking Into Clowney, Jay-Z Reports
Jay-Z formed a talent representative agency earlier this year called Roc Nation sports.
An Instagram account believed to be operated by Clowney posted a link to the Inside the League article. That post was later taken down.
After the report surfaced, the USC compliance office decided to look into the matter.
NCAA bylaws allow for agents and college athletes to have contact, but they cannot enter into any agreements for representation until the player turns professional. The NCAA also prohibits an agent from giving a player gifts.
At a media golf tournament Thursday, Gamecocks Head Coach Steve Spurrier said he was not worried about Clowney's eligibility.
"He can talk to anybody he wants to as long as he doesn't take anything," Spurrier said. "Can't take money, can't take anything of value from anybody. I think he knows that. That's been preached to him since he signed with us."
Another of Clowney's coaches agrees.
"I think I probably know J.D as well as anybody on this staff or any player around here because I spent a lot of time in the recruitment of J.D," said Lorenzo Ward, South Carolina's Defensive Coordinator. "I know J.D. will say things to get people going sometimes. J.D. understands the rules, he knows the rules. He knows he's not going to put his career in jeopardy for money that he knows if he just goes out and does what he's capable of doing he's going to get all the money he'd ever want."
The Gamecocks begin fall practice on August 2nd.