The NCAA had determined Townsend received $2,327 in impermissible benefits while at Marlboro County High School. Clemson has arranged a payment plan for Townsend, who is in the process of paying back the money. The money will go to a local charity.
The school releases its list of NCAA secondary violations twice a year because of Freedom of Information Act requests from media outlets.
Townsend’s name was not detailed in the report, but athletic spokesman Tim Bourret confirmed that the violation involved Townsend, a highly regarded linebacker who was expected to see lots of action despite being new to the program.
The NCAA was tipped off to the violations and contacted Clemson’s compliance office last June. Clemson report said Townsend’s violation began in May 2009.
The NCAA said that Townsend – who played sparingly as a freshman – had a cellphone that was paid for by a coach at Marlboro County High and that the coach was marketing Townsend to other colleges. The cellphone service cost $1,767. It was also found that Townsend got impermissible transportation on an unofficial visit worth $230.
The NCAA also said Townsend and his brother got Clemson polo shirts and a high school sweat shirt from a representative of Clemson’s athletic interest that cost $330.
Townsend is participating in spring practice and fully eligible to play football for the Tigers this fall, Bourret said.
One of the less serious, Level II, violations detailed involved All-American receiver Sammy Watkins, whose picture was used on a flier promoting his appearance at a Christmas party in his hometown of Fort Myers, Fla. Watkins did not know of the flier or the promotion. Clemson sent the business a cease and desist order.
Townsend’s situation was among five violations classified as Level I, the more serious category of secondary violations. The reports did not include the names of the athletes or the sports involved and Bourret declined to identify the athletes.
Other violations included a coach overhearing several players discuss a spring break trip to Miami in March 2011 and found that two Clemson athletes stayed a night with a former teammate in a hotel room provided by the ex-teammate’s agent.