A couple days after its 2018-19 season came to an end in the ACC tournament, the Georgia Tech basketball program now finds itself in the crosshairs of the NCAA Committee on Infractions.
Thursday night it was reported by the Atlanta Journal-Constitution that the school has been given a notice of allegations in connection with alleged rules violations by former assistant coach Darryl LaBarrie and Pastner’s friend-turned-adversary Ron Bell.
Per the report two of the three violations are of the Level I variety, the most severe when it comes to the NCAA rules structure.
LaBarrie is alleged to have taken a prospective recruit and a team member to a strip club during a visit in November 2016. Also, the recruit and team member are alleged to have been given $300 by another individual who was not identified.
Lastly, the NCAA has alleged that there was an impermissible meeting between the recruit and a person who is considered by the governing body to be a “representative of the school’s athletics interest.” Meetings of that variety are not allowed to occur during the recruitment of a prospective student-athlete.
According to reports by ESPN.com and Stadium, the recruit in question was former Duke center Wendell Carter Jr. and the representative was former Georgia Tech point guard Jarrett Jack.
With regards to Bell, who was alleged to have attempted to blackmail and extort Pastner in a lawsuit filed by the coach in January 2018, his involvement in this case comes as a result of contact with former Georgia Tech players Tadric Jackson and Josh Okogie.
According to the Journal-Constitution, the NCAA states in the notice that Bell gave Jackson and Okogie $1,400 in travel expenses, clothing, shoes and meals when the tandem visited Bell in Arizona in November 2017. It was also stated that Bell purchased plane tickets for Markel Crawford, who at the time decided to transfer from Memphis. Crawford would ultimately transfer to Ole Miss instead of Georgia Tech, with Bell cancelling the tickets as a result.
It goes without saying that this isn’t a good situation for Pastner and Georgia Tech, especially when taking into consideration the program’s 2018-19 performance. Per the report the head coach is not directly blamed in the NCAA’s notice, but in recent years the governing body has placed more responsibility on coaches when it comes to knowing what’s going on in their programs.
Georgia Tech will have until May 16 to respond to the allegations in the notice.