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.

Illinois’ injury woes continue as starting center needs knee surgery

George Niang,Abdel Nader,Mike Thorne, Jr.
AP Photo/Mark Wallheiser
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Illinois suffered another blow in what has already turned out to be a brutal season.

Mike Thorne is expected to miss the rest of the season after tearing his meniscus. He reportedly underwent surgery on Monday to repair the injury.

Thorne, a transfer from Charlotte, was starting at center for the Illini and doing a good job of it as well. He was averaging 13.4 points and 8.4 boards, although Illinois has started off the season 3-4.

The reason for that slow start has mainly been those injuries. Tracy Abrams is already out for the season after tearing his achilles, and the Illini training room looked like a M.A.S.H. unit. Kendrick Nunn just returned two games ago from surgery to repair a torn thumb ligament. LeRon Black is still getting back to speed after offseason knee surgery. Jaylon Tate is back after dislocating a finger. Jalen Coleman-Lands was slowed by a stress fracture.

John Groce entered this season on the hot seat, and dealing with all of these injuries certainly isn’t helping his cause.

NEW PODCAST: Recapping Feast Week

Kris Dunn
AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill
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We talk about a lot of stuff of the podcast today, mainly because a lot of stuff happened since we last spoke with you all.

For starters, we need to discuss the ‘realness’ of Syracuse and Xavier. Are they both truly top 15 teams, or do they just have top 15 resumes? We also dive into Chris Mack’s epic troll-job of Dayton at the Advocare Invitational final.

Other topics we touched on: Whether or not Scott is ever going to apologize to Wayne Selden, Wichita State’s tournament hopes, Texas A&M and whether we’d take Ben Simmons, Kris Dunn or Denzel Valentine today.

As always, you can subscribe to the podcast in iTunes right here. It’s the quickest way to get access on your cell phone or tablet.