NCAA accepts Baylor’s self-imposed penalties, closes case

1 Comment

The NCAA won’t hammer Baylor with additional penalties for 1,200 impermissible phone calls and texts involving the men’s and women’s college basketball teams. The self-imposed penalties by the school – three years probation for both programs, recruiting restrictions, a two-game suspension for men’s coach Scott Drew to start the Big 12 season, among others – were enough for the NCAA.

The 3-year investigation probed roughly 900,000 calls and text messages made during a 29-month period.

“We are grateful that this matter has been resolved, and that the NCAA Committee on Infractions has agreed to the facts of this case as reported in the joint summary disposition,” Baylor President Ken Starr in a statement. “While mistakes sometimes happen, it is important that we acknowledge our errors and respond to them in a manner that is open and honest, and that we strictly adhere to NCAA rules.”

The complete release by the NCAA can be found here. The penalties related to the texts, calls and impermissibly using talent scouts at basketball clinics are as follows:

  • The head men’s basketball coach must be suspended from all coaching duties during the first two conference games of the 2012-13 season.
  • One-year show-cause order for former assistant men’s basketball coach, which prohibits any recruiting activity.
  • Reduction of one scholarship (from 13 to 12) for the 2011-12 and 2012-13 academic years.
  • Reduction of five official visits (from 12 to 7) for the 2012-13 academic year.
  • Reduction of 15 recruiting evaluation days (from 130 to 115) for the 2012-13 academic year.

Women’s basketball

  • Reduction of two scholarships (from 15 to 13) for the 2011-12 academic year.
  • The head women’s basketball coach will not participate in off-campus recruiting for the full summer recruiting period (July 1 – 31, 2012).
  • An assistant women’s basketball coach will not place any recruiting calls during a four-month period from January through April, 2012.

Baylor won’t appeal the decision, closing the case.

You also can follow me on Twitter @MikeMillerNBC.

Syracuse receives mixed news on sanctions appeals

Jim Boeheim
Associated Press
Leave a comment

Wednesday the NCAA made its ruling on two appeals of sanctions made by Syracuse University, with the news being mixed for the men’s basketball program.

On the positive side the NCAA ruled that Syracuse will be docked two scholarships per season for the next four years, as opposed to the original ruling of three. As a result Jim Boeheim’s program only has to account for the loss of eight total scholarships, meaning that they’ll have 11 to fill in each of the next four seasons as opposed to ten.

One scholarship may not seem like a big deal, but in a sport where you only get 13 (when not dealing with sanctions) getting that grant-in-aid back really helps from a recruiting standpoint.

As for the negatives, they both concern Boeheim. Not only has there yet to be a ruling on Boeheim’s appeal of his nine-game suspension that goes into effect when ACC play begins in January (that appeal is being heard separately), but the appeal to reinstate the wins that were vacated as part of the sanctions was denied. As a result Boeheim officially has 868 wins instead of 969 (not counting today’s game against Charlotte).

And with Mike Hopkins set to take over as head coach in 2018, the denial means that college basketball will have to wait quite some time before anyone threatens to join Duke’s Mike Krzyzewski in the 1,000 wins club.

While not having the wins officially reinstated does hurt, getting a scholarship back for each of the next four seasons is a bigger deal when it comes to the long-term health of the Syracuse program. Also of great importance will be the ruling regarding Boeheim’s suspension, as a suspended coach is not allowed to have any contact with his players or coaching staff while serving the penalty.

And with the original ruling due to take up half of Syracuse’s league slate, not having Boeheim (or the chance to speak with him) is a big deal when it comes to this current team.

St. John’s forward Kassoum Yakwe cleared by NCAA

Chris Mullin
AP Photo/Rick Bowmer
Leave a comment

St. John’s forward Kassoum Yakwe has been cleared by the NCAA to play this season and will be eligible immediately, the school announced on Wednesday.

Yakwe is a 6-foot-8 forward that reclassified and enrolled at St. John’s this fall. He attended the same high school as Kansas forward Cheick Diallo, who was also cleared by the NCAA to play today.

St. John’s played in the Maui Invitational this week, and Yakwe did not take part. His first game with the Johnnies will be on Dec. 2nd against Fordham if the program plans to play his this season.

The question that must be asked, however, is whether or not he will suit up or simply redshirt. The Johnnies are in the midst of a serious rebuild and will be without their other elite recruit this season, Marcus Lovett. Lovett was ruled a partial qualifier. Would it make sense to burn a year of eligibility on what make amount to a wasted season, or will head coach Chris Mullin opt to save that year for down the road?