New NCAA rules put blame for violations on head coaches

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Head coaches can no longer pass the buck when their program gets caught cheating.

That’s according to this document, which was dug up by the good folks over at USA Today.

You can read the entire thing at the link above, but the gist of it: ignorance is no longer a defense for head football and basketball coaches. If your staff messes up and commits a violation, you pay the price, too.

The money shot, right here:

The document reads, “A head coach is presumed responsible for major/Level I and Level II violations (e.g. academic fraud, recruiting inducements) occurring within his or her program unless the coach can show that he or she promoted an atmosphere of compliance and monitored his or her staff.”

Any coach who is found responsible for the most serious violations under those guidelines will be subject to an entire-season suspension, according to the document.

Perhaps the most interesting — and hoops relevant — part of the document has to do with unofficial recruiting visits:

the document states that a head coach should ask about how unofficial visits are paid for and advises head coaches to ask their assistants if they suspect a third party or handler is involved in the recruitment.

The document also makes clear that elite prospects should create “a heightened sense of awareness,” leading to closer monitoring by head coaches and compliance staffs.

Unofficial visits are at the crux of the Shabazz Muhammad eligibility case. When kids are flying across the country a couple of times a month to visit colleges unofficially, at some point someone needs to ask how they are paying for it.

This is a step that needed to be taken if the NCAA really wants to promote compliance. If one person goes down, the boss goes down.

But it’s probably not going to stop anyone from trying to skirt the rules.

Rob Dauster is the editor of the college basketball website Ballin’ is a Habit. You can find him on twitter @robdauster.

VIDEO: Utah Valley’s Mark Pope dances, lip syncs with daughters

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New Utah Valley head coach Mark Pope made quite an impression on fans at the team’s Midnight Madness celebration last night. That’s because Pope did a dance and lip sync routine with his four daughters that turned out to be pretty impressive.

The former BYU assistant looks to be the leader in the clubhouse for best coach dance so far this preseason. We’ll see if any other coaches pull out elaborate routines at madness celebrations the next few weeks.

UConn commit tears ACL for second time

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UConn commit Juwan Durham, a four-star big man in the Class of 2016, has torn the ACL in his right knee for the second time in seven months. The Florida native committed to the Huskies and head coach Kevin Ollie back in September. The 6-foot-9 forward is regarded as the No. 31 overall prospect in the national Class of 2016, so he can really be a force when he’s healthy.

In a report from’s Bob Putnam, UConn was notified of the injury immediately and there is no change in plans with the commitment. The Huskies also own commitments from four-star point guard Alterique Gilbert and three-star power forward Mamadou Diarra in the Class of 2016. Having Diarra, an active, rim-protecting presence, helps with Durham’s recovery, since he can provide some more front court depth.

If Durham rehabs back to full speed, UConn has a very talented power forward who was just hitting his stride in the Florida state playoffs last February. UConn has a nice class so far with this group, especially if Durham can recover, With a year to recover until next season, Durham can hopefully play during his freshman season in 2016.