COLUMBIA, SC - After news broke of a secondary violation involving impermissible desserts, the University of South Carolina announced it has disassociated from the Keebler Elves.
"I can't comment on the specifics," South Carolina Athletic Director Ray Tanner said in a press conference on Sunday. "But we felt it was best for the university if we no longer associated with the beloved tree-dwelling bakers."
A letter was delivered to the elves' treetrunk bakery via cartoon squirrel informing them that they were no longer allowed to provide baked confections to players, coaches, or neighborhood schoolchildren.
"While we Gamecocks are as fond of Fudge Stripes™, Coconut Dreams™, and the flagship E.L. Fudge Sandwich Cookies™ as anyone with a sweet tooth, it just doesn't make sense to invite scrutiny from the NCAA," Tanner said. "Our goal is to run a clean program, and that means no cookies for the kids."
While it's unclear if the Keebler Elves were directly involved with the offending cookie cake and/or icing, Tanner stresses that the decision was not made lightly. When asked if the disassociation extends to Keebler Pecan Sandies™ shortbread cookies, Tanner replied, "Yes."
Head Keebler elf baker Ernest J. Keebler is disappointed by the decision. "While we are saddened by the news, we understand the university's dough-lemma. The NCAA is concerned about players and recruits receiving choctastic and chunktacular benefits. We love this university, and trust their fudgement."
Keebler then reprimanded his subordinate, Buckets, for adding too many chocolate candies to the chips deluxe rainbow batter. "What have you done, Buckets! Oh well--just be sure to label this batch Double the Chocolatey Goodness!" An jingle then played from an indeterminate source, replete with lyrics referencing the batch's double chocolatey goodness.
Gamecocks head coach Steve Spurrier downplayed the impact disassociation. "We've got a super donor base here at South Carolina that will sustain this program going forward. While the loss of these particular donors is unfortunate, we look forward to providing our players and recruits with snack treats the NCAA deems acceptable, such as hard tack and unflavored ice milk."
As a precautionary measure, a 350-year-old oak tree in Camden, believed to house the Keebler Elves' magical bakery, was personally razed by NCAA president Mark Emmert. It's not clear if this action was officially sanctioned.