The NCAA has dropped a hammer on former Southern Miss head coach Donnie Tyndall, handing him a 10-year show-cause penalty for violations that were committed during his two-year tenure at Southern Miss.
And not only did Tyndall get a 10-year show-cause, but if he were to be hired by a school to coach during that time frame, he would be required to be suspended for the duration of the show-cause and the first half of year 11. In other words, there is zero possibility of seeing Tyndall on an NCAA sideline for a decade and a half. Yeesh.
Tyndall wasn’t the only one to get punished. Three members of his staff at USM — two grad assistants and a former associate head coach — got 21 years of show-cause penalties combined, and a prep school coach that Tyndall recruited these players from was given a two-year show-cause. USM was also given a retroactive two-year postseason ban (which has already been served) and the NCAA accepted their self-imposed recruiting restrictions and lost scholarships.
So what were those violations that got him in trouble?
I’m just going to go ahead and block-quote the column I wrote when the Notice of Allegations dropped:
How about with the fact that the NCAA alleges that Tyndall’s staffers did the coursework for seven recruits that he was targeting, five of whom eventually enrolled at Southern Miss? That’s a Level I violation. Or how about this: One of Tyndall’s former assistants told the NCAA that Tyndall specifically hired two staff members just to be able to commit this academic fraud, and that the cheating was so well thought-out that they would send those staffers on trips to the towns the recruits were living in order for the correct IP addresses to be on record.
There’s more there — like, for example, allegedly spending $8,500 to pay for room and board of two recruits that didn’t get cleared — but what likely did him in was lying to the NCAA about all of this, going as far as to forge a document that said the school had OK’d his system of paying those players.
We know how the NCAA feels about getting lied to.
And lying about what Tyndall lied about is essentially the worst thing you can do in the NCAA’s.
Which is why he was given a 10-year show-cause penalty.
The only other person to receive a 10-year show-cause penalty? Former Baylor head coach Dave Bliss, who asked his players to lie about a teammate that had been murdered, to paint him as a drug dealer, in order to cover up the cash he had been playing the player.
Tyndall is currently an associate athletic director at Tennessee Wesleyan College. Bliss is the head coach at Southwestern Christian University, an NAIA program in Oklahoma.