UCF receives additional sanctions, one-year postseason ban in football, men's basketball
Published: Tuesday, July 31, 2012
Updated: Tuesday, July 31, 2012 18:07
The NCAA informed UCF this morning that the university will receive additional penalties for major recruiting violations in the football and men’s basketball programs, including a one-year postseason ban for both sports.
Additional sanctions include a $50,000 fine and five years of probation. The Division I Committee on Infractions determined that the university exhibited a lack of institutional control, according to the release.
The penalties will be enforced in conjunction with those self-imposed prior to the NCAA’s announcement, which included vacated wins for the men’s basketball team and a loss of scholarships, reduction in official visits, shorter recruiting time frame and a reduced amount of coaches permitted to recruit at one time for both sports.
UCF President John C. Hitt announced Tuesday afternoon 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.
Hitt explained that even if the appeal is denied, the process will be lengthy enough for the football team to participate in postseason play for the 2012 season.
The NCAA COI stated in a teleconference Tuesday that current athletes have the ability to transfer with limited options.
University employees met with the NCAA COI in April and presented a list of self-imposed sanctions, hoping to avoid further penalty.
The NCAA launched its investigation in April 2011 and released a 16-page report in November 2011 detailing its findings.
“The case centered on what the committee noted was an ever-increasing problem in college athletics today, namely the involvement of outside third parties with prospects and student-athletes,” according to the release.
The Notice of Allegations accused UCF of major recruiting violations in both football and men’s basketball, with the bulk of the allegations centering on the school’s involvement with Kenneth Caldwell and Brandon Bender.
Hitt announced that former Athletic Director Keith Tribble and assistant football head coach David Kelly submitted their resignations following the release of the Notice of Allegations in November.
The report describes Caldwell as “a recruiter for a professional sports agency” and stated that both Bender and Caldwell “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 a sum of $16,005.74 worth of benefits over the span of two years.
The New York Times reported in April 2011 that Caldwell and Bender were involved with the recruitment of basketball players Kevin Ware and Michael Chandler and football player Damarcus Smith.
Despite the investigation and sanctions, recently hired Athletic Director Todd Stansbury is determined to lead the program to a better place.
“This situation is not going to define our athletic program,” Stansbury said. “At the end of the day I think what UCF athletics is going to be known for is [students and coaches] success. On the field, in the classroom, in the community and in life.”