Things have been better at Central Florida

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Lost amid the Penn State furor on Wednesday was the news that Central Florida’s athletic department is reeling. Yes, Rob covered this a bit ago, but it’s worth going into a bit more detail.

Athletic director Keith Tribble resigned, assistant football coach David Kelly is out, while basketball coach Donnie Jones (pictured) has been suspended three game just a day after the school received the NCAA’s notice of allegations.

Tribble and Kelly were cited for unethical conduct when meeting with investigators. Jones didn’t promote an atmosphere of confidence, most of which stemmed from a relationship with Ken Caldwell, a man who would help guide recruits to UCF.

“As the program’s head coach, I accept responsibility for mistakes when they occur,” Jones told CBSSports.com. “I respect [school president John C.] Hitt and the University of Central Florida and believe the decision in this case is fair. I look forward to representing UCF in a positive manner on and off the court.”

The mistakes weren’t little ones, either. Per the AP, here’s a list of improper benefits that occurred between March 2009 and 2011:

  • Deposits totaling $500 into a bank account of a men’s basketball player, who competed while ineligible during the 2009-10 and 2010-11 seasons.
  • Arranging for tuition and university fees totaling more than $14,000 to be paid for a men’s basketball player and men’s basketball recruit.
  • Providing a laptop computer to a perspective football recruit.
  • Paying for transportation expenses for a perspective men’s basketball recruit.

The hoops player involved is senior A.J. Rompza, who was held out of an exhibition last week, though he’s still practicing with the team.

So what’s this mean for UCF’s invitation to the Big East? That’s the good news. Hitt still expects to move from Conference USA to the Big East, though he has not spoken with commissioner John Marinatto.

Might want to do that first …

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