The University of Central Florida was banned from the football and men’s basketball postseason this year and is on probation through 2017 because it knowingly allowed third parties to recruit and make cash payments to athletes, college sports’ governing body said.
Two representatives provided more than $16,000 to three recruits and two current student in cash, tuition, a laptop computer and free travel, according to the National Collegiate Athletic Association.
One person had so much contact with recruits that the parents thought he was a coach for the university, the NCAA said in a statement.
The Orlando, Florida-based school was cited for a lack of institutional control, fined $50,000, stripped of five football scholarships and two men’s basketball scholarships for three years, had recruiting days reduced and some men’s basketball victories wiped out.
The NCAA’s said former Athletic Director Keith Tribble “claimed that he was not aware of recruiting rules and did not know he was engaging in impermissible activity.”
“As the leader of the athletics department, it is incumbent upon the director of athletics to know basic rules governing the Association,” according to the NCAA’s Division I Committee on Infractions, which heard the case.
The NCAA said men’s basketball coach Donnie Jones didn’t monitor, discourage or ask questions about the activities of the third parties. He was already suspended for three conference games without pay by the university. He’s been barred from off- campus recruiting during the July evaluation periods in 2013 and received a three-year show-cause order, which means the university has to show the NCAA why he shouldn’t be restricted from recruiting.
“A head coach is not required to investigate wrongdoing, but is expected to recognize potential NCAA violations, address them and report them to the athletics administration,” the NCAA said in a statement.
Tribble and assistant football coach David Kelly tried to deceive investigators, according to the NCAA. Both have resigned.
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