Recruiting violations cause postseason ban
Published: Monday, August 13, 2012
Updated: Monday, August 13, 2012 13:08
The NCAA handed UCF several sanctions, including a one-year postseason ban, for major recruiting violations in men’s basketball and football.
Penalties include the aforementioned ban, five years of probation, a $50,000 fine, a loss of scholarships, a reduction in official visits — the one trip a school is allowed to pay for so a recruit can visit — a shorter recruiting time frame and a reduced amount of coaches able to recruit at a time for both sports, along with vacated wins for the men’s basketball team.
UCF President John C. Hitt announced that the school accepts the majority of the penalties but plans on appealing the one-year postseason ban for the football team.
“We just don’t believe the aggravating factors cited by the NCAA bylaws warrant or justify this sanction,” Hitt said.
Appealing the bowl ban most likely means the team will be able to compete for a Conference USA championship and a bowl game this year due to the lengthy process of the appeal, Hitt said. But if the appeal is denied, the punishment will be held off one more year, just in time for the school’s arrival to the Big East Conference.
The NCAA also announced that seniors on both the men’s basketball and football teams with one year left of eligibility will be able to transfer with limited options.
Men’s basketball head coach Donnie Jones said the seniors may be returning, citing that they will be able to finish a degree at UCF, play for coaches who know them well and play for a regular-season C-USA championship.
The NCAA decided to hand down these penalties in addition to the self-imposed sanctions the university developed and cited the institution for having a “lack of institutional control” because of former athletic director Keith Tribble’s involvement in the violations.
The NCAA launched its investigation in April 2011 and released a 16-page report in November 2011 detailing its findings.
The Notice of Allegations accused UCF of major recruiting violations in both football and men’s basketball mostly involving Kenneth Caldwell and Brandon Bender.
The report describes Caldwell as “a recruiter for a professional sports agency” and states that both Caldwell and Bender “assisted the institution in the recruitment of six men’s basketball and five football prospective student-athletes.”
The Notice of Allegations included details of direct communication between Caldwell and Tribble, and it stated that Caldwell had given UCF recruits more than $16,000 worth of benefits over the span of two years.
Hitt announced that Tribble and former football assistant head coach David Kelly submitted their resignations following the release of the Notice of Allegations in November.