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Missouri did not monitor its men’s basketball program

Download the 2016 University of Missouri Public Infractions Decision

The University of Missouri, Columbia, failed to monitor its men’s basketball program when it did not fully vet or follow up on internship opportunities provided by a booster for student-athletes and a prospect, according to a decision issued by a Division I Committee on Infractions panel. A second booster also provided impermissible benefits to 11 men’s basketball student-athletes and three members of one student-athlete’s family. The total amount of impermissible inducements and extra benefits provided by the two boosters totaled $11,402.

The panel accepted the university’s self-imposed penalties and added one year of probation, from Aug. 2, 2016, through Aug. 1, 2017. Penalties self-imposed by the school include a one-year postseason ban for the men’s basketball team, completed during the 2015-16 season, scholarship reductions, recruiting restrictions, disassociation of the two boosters, a vacation of men’s basketball wins and a fine.

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 and the university must agree to the facts and overall level of the case in order to use this process instead of a formal hearing.

The first booster employed three men’s basketball players and one prospect as interns at his company and paid them for work not performed. The booster also provided the student-athletes with cash, housing, use of the booster’s car, iPads, meals and access to a local gym. The panel noted that the university relied on the booster’s inaccurate representations about the nature and validity of the internship without fully vetting the employment opportunity to make sure it complied with NCAA rules.

The second booster provided 11 student-athletes with a discounted lodging rate that was not available to the general public. Although he knew he could not provide free lodging, he mistakenly believed that he could provide student-athletes with discounted lodging. The booster also provided impressible benefits to three family members of one of the student-athletes. The panel noted the resulting violations could have been avoided by consulting with the university’s compliance staff to see if the discounted rate was allowable.

The panel noted that schools should take extra precautions when working with boosters to make sure NCAA rules are met.  

“The more unique the internship opportunity, the higher the level of scrutiny that should be applied to ensure compliance with institutional, conference and NCAA rules,” stated the public report.

Penalties prescribed by the panel include the following:

  • Public reprimand and censure for the university.
  • One year of probation for the university from Aug., 2, 2016, through Aug. 1, 2017.
  • The university self-imposed the following penalties:
  • A one-year men’s basketball postseason ban for the 2015-16 season.
  • A reduction of one scholarship during the 2015-16 season and by one for either the 2016-17 or 2017-18 season.
  • A five-day reduction of men’s basketball recruiting days during the 2014-15 and 2015-16 seasons.
  • A prohibition from telephone recruiting calls with prospects for six weeks during 2016-17.
  • A vacation of wins in which student-athletes participated while ineligible during the 2013-14 season. After the release of the public report, the university will identify the games affected.
  • A permanent disassociation of the booster who employed the men’s basketball student-athletes and a prospect. The details of the university’s disassociation of the booster can be found in the public report.
  • A two-year disassociation of the booster who provided the discounted lodging rate and his wife. The details of the university’s disassociation of the individuals can be found in the public report.
  • A $5,000 fine.

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 Michael F. Adams, chancellor, Pepperdine University; Gregory Christopher, athletics director at Xavier University; Melissa Conboy, chief hearing officer and deputy director of athletics at the University of Notre Dame; Jack Ford, legal analyst for CBS News; Alberto Gonzales, dean of the law school at Belmont University and former attorney general of the United States; Joseph Novak, former head football coach at Northern Illinois University; and David Roberts, vice president for athletics compliance at the University of Southern California.