Last season Southern Miss, which was being investigated by the NCAA for possible rules violations that occurred under Donnie Tyndall, took the step of self imposing a postseason ban. Of course Doc Sadler’s Golden Eagles, who finished the season with just nine wins, were unlikely to play in the postseason but such moves are made to placate the NCAA Committee on Infractions.
Sunday night Southern Miss announced just days before their regular season opener that they’ve decided to self-impose a postseason ban for the 2015-16 season as well.
“I am very disappointed for the current members of our men’s basketball team and coaching staff, none of whom were involved in any alleged violation of NCAA rules,” Southern Miss athletic director Bill McGillis said in the release. “While excruciating due to the impact on the young men in our program today, the decision to withhold our team from postseason competition following the 2015-16 season is appropriate given the findings of the recent university and NCAA review of our program.”
It goes without saying that this is an unfair situation for Sadler, who had nothing to do with the seven Level I rules violations (the most severe variety), his coaching staff and the players. None of those individuals had anything to do with those alleged violations, and in the case of the coaching staff none were there working for Tyndall before he moved on to Tennessee (where he was fired after just one season as a result of this investigation).
But given the way penalty structures are set up, it’s the coaches and players who are currently on campus who are made to pay for past transgressions. The timing of this is unfortunate to say the least, as the four seniors on the roster don’t have the opportunity to at the very least look into transferring to a school eligible for postseason play without penalty. While some may use that as a reason to criticize the NCAA, this is the best they can do and it’s a system that was set up by the member schools.
Tyndall spent just two seasons in Hattiesburg, winning 56 games and taking Southern Miss to the quarterfinals of the Postseason NIT in both years. But those on-court achievements have come at a significant cost, one that keeps Sadler and company from achieving some semblance of success themselves.
The mess Donnie Tyndall created — which will likely end up with him receiving a massive penalty from the NCAA — has claimed another victim.
That would be Tyson Waterman, sources confirmed to NBCSports.com. In the redacted version of the NCAA’s Notice of Allegations to Southern Miss, Waterman shows up as “Student Athlete I’s high school head coach” and is referred to as a former assistant at “NCAA institution 3”. Watermen spent four seasons as the head coach at Believe Prep in South Carolina, where Shadell Millinghaus, Leroy Fludd and Thaddeus Hall all attended before committing to Southern Miss late in the spring of 2013. Millinghaus, Fludd and Hall are all natives of Brooklyn.
Waterman refused to turn over bank records to the NCAA during the investigation after he was accused of “receiving payment for the commitments of recruited men’s basketball prospective student-athletes.” As an employee of a Division I institution, he is required to cooperate with any NCAA investigation. Since the NCAA doesn’t have subpoena power, the way they force cooperation is to hammer anyone that lies or refuses to turn over evidence. Waterman did the latter and was charged with unethical conduct and obstructing an investigation, a Level I violation.
CBSSports.com was the first to report the news.
Millinghaus enrolled at Southern Miss as a Prop 48 recruit, meaning that he was ineligible to play or receive a scholarship as a freshman. Millinghaus, listed as “Student Athlete I” in the Notice of Allegations, was investigated for receiving $2,000 in cash and gift cards from Tyndall to help pay for his tuition. Waterman is accused of scheming with Tyndall to make the former appear to be the source of that money — which is legal under NCAA rules — instead of Tyndall’s personal funds.
The ties go deeper than that. Fludd and Hall eventually wound up at Jones County Junior where they won an NJCAA Division I national title with Jay Ladner in 2014. Ladner was then hired as the head coach at Southeastern Louisiana, hiring Waterman onto his staff. Fludd signed a Letter of Intent with Southeastern Louisiana, although it is unclear if he will be enrolling at the school this fall. He played just three games at JCJC this season.
Ladner also brought in Millinghaus’ brother, Derrick, from Ole Miss as a transfer. A source told NBCSports.com that Shadell was set to transfer out of USM and into Southeastern Louisiana after the first semester of the 2014-15 season. But Derrick “went ineligible” and left the program. Shadell returned to USM, missing a total of 11 games. He ended the season with a 25 point performance in a loss to Louisiana Tech.
Donnie Tyndall’s made his debut in professional wrestling on Saturday night.
The ex-Volunteers coach was ringside as the manager of the Heavenly Bodies, a tag team in the main event of the Global Force Wrestling Grand Slam Tour. The show took place at Smokies Park in Knoxville, home of Tennessee Smokies, the AA minor league affiliate of the Chicago Cubs.
Tyndall came out with typical coaching attire, equipped with a whistle and clipboard. According to Adam Greene of the Knoxville News Sentinel, Tyndall also got in on the action:
Tyndall’s moment as a heel lasted just until the end of the match. The Heavenly Bodies didn’t abide by the rules and Tyndall made what they call a “babyface turn” in the business, and clubbed one of the wrestlers over the head with his clipboard. It was something Tyndall has dreamed of doing for a long time to basketball referees and opposing coaches.
Following the match, Tyndall tweeted that he had retired from professional wrestling.
Tyndall was fired by Tennessee on March 27 after one season, as a result of an NCAA investigation into violations that he committed as head coach at Southern Miss.Former Texas head coach Rick Barnes was hired four days later. The Volunteers were 16-16 this past season, finishing 10th in the SEC.