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.
Southern Miss has received its Notice of Allegations from the NCAA after violations were reported under former head coach Donnie Tyndall. According to a release from the Southern Miss athletics department, the school is working with the NCAA and they expect a conclusion to this before Spring 2016.
From the Southern Miss release:
The Notice of Allegations, which has been posted at SouthernMiss.com, includes charges involving serious misconduct by the former head coach and members of his staff. The alleged violations do not involve any current member of the men’s basketball team or coaching staff. Importantly, the notice does not include a charge of a lack of institutional control or failure to monitor the program by the University. Further, the academic misconduct identified in the notice relates to coursework undertaken at other institutions prior to the students’ enrollment at USM.
The University understands the serious nature of the allegations and has worked collaboratively with the NCAA in reviewing this matter since last fall. We will continue to fully cooperate with the NCAA through the remainder of the administrative process, which we do not expect to conclude before Spring 2016.
Tyndall left the Golden Eagles for the same position at Tennessee in the spring of 2014, before the violations were reported. Tyndall was fired by the Vols this March when it became clear that he was going to be getting hit with penalties as a result of the NCAA’s investigation. It is suspected that he took part in granting improper benefits to student-athletes that were ineligible to be on the team or on scholarship.
As the Southern Miss release notes, the program did not receive a charge of a lack of institutional control or failure to monitor the program by the University. That essentially places much of the blame for this on Tyndall and his former staff, although Southern Miss could still face consequences.
You can read the entire NCAA Notice of Allegations here.
Southern Miss has self-imposed a postseason ban for the men’s basketball program for the 2014-15 season, the school announced in an official release on Tuesday night.
The ban stems from an ongoing university and NCAA investigation into the basketball program from the 2012-13 and 2013-14 seasons under former head coach Donnie Tyndall, now the head coach at Tennessee. Tyndall’s former assistant coach at Southern Miss, Adam Howard, resigned as a Tennessee assistant coach in late November amid an NCAA probe. Multiple sources told NBCSports.com at the time that they believed that Howard resigned because of the NCAA investigation.
The postseason ban for Southern Miss means the school and new head coach Doc Sadler will not participate in the 2015 Conference USA Tournament or any postseason tournaments. The Golden Eagles are currently 5-11 on the season and 0-5 in Conference USA play. According to ESPN’s Jeff Goodman, Southern Miss players refused to practice after being informed of the school’s decision on Tuesday afternoon.
The school’s Director of Athletics, Bill McGillis, released a statement in the official release.
“I am saddened and extremely disappointed for the members of our men’s basketball team, who will not be able to participate in the postseason this year, as well as for our new coaching staff and fans,” McGillis said. “This self-imposed penalty was a painful, but necessary, decision based on information gathered during the review process and available to the university at this time.”
Southern Mississippi is under investigation by the NCAA for rules violations involving “Prop 48″ players brought into the program under Tyndall.
“Prop 48″ players are recruits that are ruled academically ineligible by the NCAA when they enter college. According to a story from Bleacher Report‘s Jason King, the players in question weren’t on scholarship at Southern Miss, but they enrolled in classes and lived in apartments in Hattiesburg while taking the credits they needed to get eligible. Where the resources for tuition and rent came from is what the NCAA investigating.