6 schools to be notified of serious NCAA violations

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Jun 13, 2019

    Mark SchlabachESPN Senior Writer

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    • Senior college football writer
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    • Graduate of the University of Georgia

The NCAA expects at least six Division I men’s basketball programs will receive notices of allegations for Level I violations, the most serious infractions under NCAA rules, as a result of the federal government’s investigation into corruption in the sport.

“The NCAA continues to investigate potential rules violations stemming from the Southern District of New York allegations and subsequent court proceedings. We are aggressively and thoroughly pursuing information and using all tools available to us through the NCAA infractions process,” the NCAA said in a statement. “As a result, we expect that at least six Division I men’s basketball programs will receive NCAA notice of allegations within the coming months, and likely additional schools thereafter. Colleges and universities have a responsibility to run their athletics programs within NCAA rules. Our membership expects us to hold accountable those who fail to do so.”

The schools that could receive notices of allegations were not identified.

Stan Wilcox, the NCAA’s vice president of regulatory affairs, told CBS Sports on Wednesday at an athletic directors conference in Orlando, Florida, that two programs might receive notices of allegations by early July and that four more probably will receive them by the end of the summer.

“There’s even another group of cases that we’re still working on,” Wilcox said. “The main thing is that we’re up and ready. We’re moving forward, and you’ll see consequences.”

Assistant coaches from four schools — Arizona, Auburn, Oklahoma State and USC — pleaded guilty to accepting bribes from aspiring business manager Christian Dawkins and others to influence their players to sign with his fledgling sports agency.

During two federal criminal trials in the Southern District of New York, there was evidence presented or testimony from witnesses that coaches at a handful of other schools, including Creighton, Kansas, Louisville, NC State and Oregon, allegedly made offers of improper payments to players and their families or were providing them with payments.

Officials at Arizona, Kansas, Louisville, NC State and USC have previously acknowledged that their men’s basketball programs are under NCAA investigation.

Louisville’s Rick Pitino is the only head coach fired after the federal government indicted 10 men in October 2017, following a clandestine two-year investigation into bribes and other corruption. Wilcox said other head coaches might face penalties from the NCAA.

“Those top coaches that were mentioned in the trials where the information shows what was being said was a violation of NCAA rules, yes. They will be all part of these notices of allegations,” Wilcox told CBS Sports.

NCAA investigators have requested all documents that the schools submitted to the federal government in response to subpoenas and have conducted interviews on and off campus.

Last month, during a meeting of the Knight Commission on Intercollegiate Athletics, Kevin Lennon, the NCAA’s vice president for Division I governance, said the notices “will be coming.”

“You don’t get in the way of a federal investigation,” Lennon said. “Activity was going on during that span that was within our purview; but now that the court cases are done, now we’re in a position where you’re likely to see notices of allegations going to institutions that have violated NCAA rules, etc. I think you can anticipate notices of allegations will be coming.”