For the past couple of days, the joke has been made that if any athletics program has any dirty laundry to air, now would be the time to do it.
Nothing could take the focus away from the drama unfolding with Joe Paterno at Penn State.
Central Florida listened. Stemming from an investigation by ESPN.com and the New York Times into the association of Ken Caldwell — a runner for an agent, a representative of the school’s athletic interests due to his son attending UCF and Caldwell having legal guardianship over former walk-on Doukon Kuzuean, as well as an ex-con — with the Central Florida program, athletics director Keith Tribble and assistant football coach David Kelly were both let go. Basketball coach Donnie Jones was suspended for the first three games of the season.
You can read the full Notice of Allegations here. The details? Well, that reports that Caldwell — who was labeled as both a runner and a booster by the NCAA, which is not a good combination to be — so feverishly denied on twitter appear to be true. Ken Caldwell helped recruit Michael Chandler and Kevin Ware — as well as a couple of players on the football side — to UCF. He provided impermissible benefits to basketball players, football players and recruits. He even got one kid’s mother a job, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing but is definitely against the rules of the NCAA.
Tribble lost his job because he was complicit in Caldwell’s recruiting methods — why do people continue to violate NCAA by-laws and email about it? — and then lied to NCAA investigators about it. Kelly also lied to investigators. It doesn’t appear as if Jones lied and he also wasn’t directly linked to the impermissible benefits given to his players, but the NCAA has charged him with failure to monitor his program. They allege that he and/or members of his coaching staff were aware of the relationship Caldwell had with players in the program.
The biggie? The NCAA dropped the “lack of institutional control” hammer.
UCF is in pretty big trouble here, It will be interesting to see if this affects their standing when it comes to joining the Big East. They have 90 days to respond to the NCAA.