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NCAA finds University of Idaho men's basketball program violated rules

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Posted at 3:11 PM, Jun 18, 2020
and last updated 2020-06-18 17:11:43-04

The University of Idaho men's basketball program received two years of probation for violating several NCAA coaching and recruiting rules.

The NCAA released a report on the violations made by the University of Idaho and the associated staff.

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

The agreement said the coaching activities performed by said 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 NCAA release said.

The University of Idaho and NCAA enforcement staff agreed that the activity between the parties breached what is allowed by NCAA rules and did not ensure that the 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, which happened when two recruited local prospects played in scrimmages observed by coaches when additional players were needed during the off-season. The basketball staff reported they didn't believe it was impermissible to watch the prospects play, because they weren't being seriously recruited by the university at the time, according to the agreement.

The former head coach and the enforcement staff agreed that the former head coach didn't promote an atmosphere of compliance. It was reported that he instructed and allowed the noncoaching staff members to perform impermissible tasks in team practices and games.

The agreement also said the former coach didn't monitor the recording of his staff, as well as the reporting of countable activity or their observations of prospects during scrimmages.

"The university, the 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," the NCAA release said.

The details of the penalties are as follows:

  • 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 NCAA release said. "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."