sanctions

NCAA suspends Frank Haith five games, docks Miami three scholarships

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Missouri head coach Frank Haith has been suspended five games by the NCAA for violations that he committed while the head coach at Miami, the NCAA announced on Tuesday.

“The former head men’s basketball coach failed to meet his responsibilities as a head coach when he did not monitor the activities of his assistant coaches, and attempted to cover up the booster’s threats to disclose incriminating information, according to the committee. Additionally, two assistant football coaches and one assistant men’s basketball coach did not follow NCAA ethical conduct rules,” the NCAA’s report stated.

The suspension shouldn’t hurt Missouri too much. Their first five opponents? Southeastern Louisiaina, Southern Illinois, Hawai’i, Gardner-Webb and IUPUI. George Hill ain’t walking through that door.

Back in February, Haith was charged with “failure to promote an atmosphere of compliance” stemming from a story written by Yahoo! Sports in 2011. Haith was reported to have had knowledge of a $10,000 payment given to DeQuan Jones, a top 25 recruit. Nevin Shaprio, a convicted Ponzi-schemer and admitted booster for the Miami football program, told Yahoo! that he had given the money to assistant coach Jake Morton.

Morton, who was an assistant coach at Western Kentucky until April when he resigned, was not given a show-cause penalty by the NCAA, but Jorge Fernandez, who was most recently an assistant at Marshall, did receive a two-year show-cause. That news was reported by Jeff Goodman of ESPN.com.

Miami will also lose one basketball scholarship for each of the next three years, putting Jim Larrañaga in an even more difficult position as he tries to rebuild the program after losing six of his top seven players from last year’s ACC champions.

Here are the details the NCAA dug up on Miami hoops:

Two former assistant men’s basketball coaches looked to the booster to entertain high school and nonscholastic coaches of prospects. A former assistant men’s basketball coach did not follow NCAA ethical conduct rules when he provided false information during his interviews about providing airline points for a flight to a prospect and his high school coach. Despite giving the high school coach his airline account information to purchase flights with frequent flyer miles, the former assistant men’s basketball coach stated he did not know his airline points were used. During the hearing, the former assistant men’s basketball coach then admitted that he provided false information.

When the booster began experiencing financial trouble, he requested that the former head men’s basketball coach loan him a large sum of money or that the former head men’s basketball coach return the booster’s $50,000 donation. The former head men’s basketball coach denied the booster’s request; however, a former assistant men’s basketball coach agreed to loan the booster $7,000, which the booster eventually repaid. After the booster was incarcerated in 2010, he began to threaten the former head men’s basketball coach and assistant coach and demand money. The committee determined the former head men’s basketball coach and the former assistant men’s basketball coach worked together to make sure the booster received $10,000 to end the booster’s threats.

The former head men’s basketball coach was aware of the booster’s threats and he took steps to help a former assistant men’s basketball coach to make a payment to the booster’s mother to end the threats. As the leader of a high-profile basketball program, he had a responsibility to make sure he and his staff followed the rules. However, the former coach did not meet his responsibilities and this conduct resulted in violations. The committee noted that had he asked about the basis of the threats and the former assistant coaches’ relationship with the booster, he could have recognized potential concerns or taken the issue to the compliance office.

The Hurricane athletic department will accept all sanctions, which means that this saga, which has dragged on for years, will more-or-less end today.

How will NCAA sanctions affect Saint Mary’s? (VIDEO)

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The NCAA came down hard on Saint Mary’s Friday with sanctions stemming from recruiting violations by the school and former assistant and director of basketball operations Keith Moss. Among the sanctions are:

– Four years probation from March 1, 2013 through February 28, 2017
– A five-game suspension during the 2013-14 season for head coach Randy Bennett
– An off-campus recruiting ban for Bennett during the 2013-14 academic year
– A two-year show-cause order for the former assistant coach, Moss
– Reduction of men’s basketball scholarships from 13 to 11 for the 2014-15 and 2015-16 seasons.
– Elimination of foreign tours by the men’s basketball team until the start of the 2017-18 season.
– The men’s basketball team may not participate in a multiple-team event until the 2015-16 season.
– The men’s basketball team may not receive skill instruction during the 2013-14 and 2014-15 seasons.

With all of that, though, Saint Mary’s escapes without a postseason ban or show-cause penalty for Bennett, both of which would be more damaging for the coach and program. The biggest obstacles for the Gaels may be in scheduling, now that they will be barred from playing in preseason tournaments. Without the chance to beef up their non-conference schedule with those tournaments, the Gaels will need to be more ambitious in driving their strength of schedule through individual matchups.

Gonzaga will likely continue to be a power in the WCC, so with sanctions in place Saint Mary’s will need to keep up.

Ray Ratto of CSNBayArea.com had an alternative take on the sanctions, writing that “the punishers are on their heels as well, for deeds that far exceed Saint Mary’s.”

Read his piece here and check out video from CSN Bay Area below:

Daniel Martin is a writer and editor at JohnnyJungle.com, covering St. John’s. You can find him on Twitter:@DanielJMartin_

Central Florida reportedly sentenced to one-year postseason ban in football and basketball

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Both the football and basketball programs at the University of Central Florida have been sentenced to one-year postseason bans by the NCAA, Jeff Goodman of CBSSports.com is reporting.

The ban comes in addition to the self-imposed penalties that Central Florida placed upon itself, among them a three-game suspension for head coach Donnie Jones, a reduction in scholarships and recruiting days, and vacated wins from 2008-2011.

The ruling came as a result of an existing relationship between Kenneth Caldwell, who the deemed to have ties to a sports agency, and coaches in both football and basketball.

Goodman laid out the major factors for the NCAA’s ruling:

“1) Involvement with an individual associated with a prospect

2) A significant competitive advantage resulted

3) The violations reflect a lack of institutional control

4) The institution is a repeat violator”

As the NCAA explained it, Caldwell allegedly tried to steer players to UCF, though former guard AJ Rompza is reportedly the only player to go on to play for the Knights.

What remains for Jones is a three-year show cause order, meaning that if he were to move to another institution, the penalties he has yet to serve would follow him. He also will not be allowed to go out on the recruiting trail for next July’s live period.

Central Florida is playing in its final season in Conference USA, set to move to the Big East in 2013-14. The Knights finished 22-11, including 10-6 in conference play. They lost in the first round of the NIT to Drexel.

To read Goodman’s full report, click here.

Daniel Martin is a writer and editor at JohnnyJungle.com, covering St. John’s. You can find him on Twitter:@DanielJMartin_

Report: Baylor basketball teams facing possible NCAA sanctions over phone calls, texts

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Jason King of ESPN is reporting that Baylor’s men’s and women’s basketball teams are facing possible NCAA sanctions, stemming from the results of an investigation that revealed more than 1,200 impermissible phone calls and text messages over the span of close to two and a half years.

The report from ESPN, released Monday morning, says that Baylor men’s coach Scott Drew and women’s coach Kim Mulkey, along with their assistants, were the ones who took part in the impermissible messages and calls.

The summary of findings from the NCAA, which was sent to Baylor in October, showed Drew and Mulkey, along with the institution had demonstrated a “failure to monitor” the assistants involved and the program as a whole in regards to the texts and phone calls.

Findings were not just limited to basketball, as the ESPN report points out, with impermissible calls and texts, “ranging from football to the equestrian program.”

Baylor has taken discipline into their own hands since 2008, when the probe began, with self-imposing penalties, but the committee on infractions is expected to announce next week if they deem more penalties to be necessary for the program.

Mark Morefield, a former Baylor assistant who resigned from the program in July of 2011, was found to have committed a major violation as a result of this investigation, as he, “attempted to influence two AAU coaches to furnish the NCAA with false and misleading information regarding a series of text messages,” the ESPN report states.

The report from the NCAA says that Drew, Mulkey, and the rest of the coaches involved have “acknowledged their involvement” in the violations.

The last prominent case similar to this arose in 2008, when Indiana coach Kelvin Sampson was found to be making impermissible phone calls to recruits, after already having been sited for the same violation while at Oklahoma. He then allegedly lied to the NCAA about his involvement, which deepened the problems at Indiana and ultimately led to the end of his tenure there.

To read the rest of the report from ESPN, click here.

Daniel Martin is a writer and editor at JohnnyJungle.com, covering St. John’s. You can find him on Twitter:@DanielJMartin_

[Post updated 9 April 2012, 5:26p.m.]