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Connecticut Basketball Faces Eight NCAA Violations; Coach Calhoun Cited

The National Collegiate Athletic Association alleged eight violations by the University of Connecticut’s basketball program, including coach Jim Calhoun’s failure to promote an atmosphere of compliance.

The Storrs, Connecticut-based, school received a notice of allegations from the NCAA following a 15-month investigation by the school and the governing body, Connecticut said in a news release posted on its website.

Calhoun, who coached the Huskies to two national championships, said he and the university followed the rules.

“We are steadfast in our belief that we operate a program deeply committed to complying with the NCAA’s guidelines,” Calhoun said in a statement. “While we may have made some mistakes in the recruiting process, UConn has never wavered in terms of its fostering and maintaining a strong culture of compliance and has always striven to meet the high standards expected of us.”

Allegations in the notice include making impermissible phone calls and text messages to recruits; giving impermissible benefits to a recruit by a member of the athletic department; and providing false and misleading information by two Connecticut staff members during the inquiry.

The university said today that assistant coach Patrick Sellers and director of basketball operations Beau Archibald had resigned.

“Let me be clear that the University of Connecticut is fully committed to NCAA rules compliance and takes this matter very seriously,” Connecticut Athletic Director Jeffrey Hathaway said in a statement. “With regard to Coach Calhoun, he personally has a long standing history of demonstrated commitment to NCAA compliance. We appreciate his continued commitment, as well as the full cooperation and support that he has provided throughout this process.”

Recruiting Story

The investigation stemmed from a Yahoo! Sports story in March 2009 that said former team manager Josh Nochimson helped lure recruit Nate Miles to Connecticut with lodging, transportation, meals at restaurants and representation.

Earlier this month, Calhoun, 68, signed a $13 million contract that will keep him at Connecticut until 2014. The Huskies went 18-16 last season, with Calhoun taking a leave of absence in midseason to deal with an unspecified health problem.

To contact the reporter on this story: Mason Levinson in New York at mlevinson@bloomberg.net.

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