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Idaho men’s basketball program violated NCAA rules

Download the June 2020 University of Idaho Public Negotiated Resolution Agreement

The University of Idaho men’s basketball head coach instructed two noncoaching staff members to engage in impermissible coaching activities, according to an agreement released by the Division I Committee on Infractions.

The agreement said the coaching activities performed by the noncoaching staff caused the program to exceed the permissible number of countable coaches. The noncoaching staff included two former directors of basketball operations and a former men’s basketball manager.

The university and NCAA enforcement staff agreed that the men’s basketball program supervised student-athletes’ participation in countable athletically related activity beyond what is allowed by NCAA rules and did not ensure weekly countable activity reports were accurately recorded.

Additional violations occurred when prospects played in scrimmages observed by coaches. One recruit played on-court with student-athletes during his official visit, but the prospect had not completed a required medical examination.

The program also conducted impermissible tryouts when two minimally recruited local prospects played in scrimmages observed by coaches when additional players were needed during the off-season, according to the agreement. The agreement detailed that the basketball staff reported they did not believe it was impermissible to watch the prospects play because they were not being seriously recruited by the university at the time.  

The former head coach and the enforcement staff agreed the former head coach did not promote an atmosphere of compliance because he instructed and allowed the noncoaching staff members to perform impermissible tasks in team practices and games.

Additionally, the agreement said the former head coach did not monitor his staff’s recording and reporting of countable activity or their observations of prospects during scrimmages.  

The university, former coach and the enforcement staff used ranges identified by the Division I membership-approved infractions guidelines to agree upon Level II-standard penalties for the university and the former head coach. Those and other penalties, approved by the Committee on Infractions, are detailed below:

  • Two years of probation.
  • A fine of $5,000.
  • A restriction of men’s basketball unofficial visits for a three-week period in the fall of 2019.
  • A reduction in the maximum number of men’s basketball official visits by four during the 2018-19 and 2019-20 academic years.
  • A restriction of all men’s basketball recruiting communications for a two-week period beginning Nov. 22, 2020.
  • A reduction in the maximum number of men’s basketball recruiting person days by 16 during the 2019-20 academic year.
  • A one-year show-cause order for the former head coach. During that period, if he is employed by an NCAA member school, he must attend an NCAA Regional Rules Seminar in 2020 or 2021.
  • If he is employed at an NCAA member school, the former head coach must be suspended from the first two games of the regular season during the 2020-21 season.
  • A reduction of men’s basketball countable athletically related activity by 16 hours total in the summer and fall of 2019.
  • A reduction of men’s basketball countable athletically related activity by one hour per week throughout the 2019-20 regular season.
  • The university eliminated the director of men’s basketball operations position during the 2019-20 academic year.
  • The university must require all men’s basketball staff members to participate in a NCAA Regional Rules Seminar in 2020 or 2021.
  • Public reprimand and censure.

Members of the Committee on Infractions are drawn from the NCAA membership and the public. The members of the panel who reviewed this case were Joel Maturi, former Minnesota athletics director; Kay Norton, chief hearing officer for the case and president emeritus of Northern Colorado; and Larry Parkinson, director of enforcement for the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.