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Former South Florida assistant men’s basketball coach acted unethically, violated recruiting rules

Download the Sept. 2017 University of South Florida Public Infractions Decision

A former South Florida assistant men’s basketball coach acted unethically when he knowingly violated NCAA rules to provide prospects with impermissible housing, transportation and meals, and then denied his involvement in the violations, according to a Division I Committee on Infractions panel.

This case was resolved through the summary disposition process, a cooperative effort where the involved parties collectively submit the case to the Committee on Infractions in written form. The NCAA enforcement staff, university and participating individuals must agree to the facts and overall level of the case to use this process instead of a formal hearing.

In May 2016, two prospects lived near South Florida while they received tutoring to complete online courses needed for their initial eligibility certification. In its decision, the panel noted that it has regularly found that there is an increased risk of violations when prospects move close to campus before enrollment. Despite the increased risk, the former assistant coach ignored well-known and foundational NCAA rules when he provided and arranged for the prospects to receive free hotel stays, housing at the former assistant coach’s home, transportation and meals, contrary to NCAA recruiting rules.

The violations in the case were compounded when the former assistant coach denied providing hotel stays for the prospects during two interviews with the NCAA enforcement staff and South Florida. In a third interview, the former assistant coach admitted he previously was dishonest during the interviews and admitted the recruiting violation occurred. The panel noted in its decision that the former assistant coach’s conduct required the enforcement staff and South Florida to expend additional resources and extended the investigation by several months.

The panel used the Division I membership-approved infractions penalty guidelines to prescribe the following measures:

  • Public reprimand and censure for the university.
  • A two-year show-cause period for the former assistant coach from Sept. 19, 2017, through Sept. 18, 2019. During that period, any NCAA member employing him must prohibit him from all coaching activities during the first year of the show-cause period, require monthly rules education during each year of the period and require him to attend NCAA Regional Rules seminars during each year of the period.
  • A reduction of one men’s basketball scholarship during the 2016-17 year (self-imposed by the university).
  • A withholding of one countable coach from off-campus recruiting from June 27, 2016, through Aug. 16, 2016, a total of 50 days (self-imposed by the university).
  • A $5,000 fine (self-imposed by the university).

Members of the Committee on Infractions are drawn from NCAA membership and members of the public. The members of the panel who reviewed this case are Bobby Cremins, former head men’s basketball coach at Georgia Tech; Stephen A. Madva, attorney in private practice; Joyce McConnell, provost and vice president of academic affairs at West Virginia; Gary L. Miller, chancellor at Green Bay; David Roberts, chief hearing officer for this panel and special advisor to the president of Southern California; and Sankar Suryanarayan, university counsel, Princeton.