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.