November 30, 2023

Brighton Journal

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The Memphis men’s basketball coach fails to foster an air of compliance

The Memphis men’s basketball coach fails to foster an air of compliance

Memphis men’s basketball coaches committed recruiting violations when they were involved in two unauthorized draft home visits with a prospect during his freshman year of high school, according to a decision by the Division I Committee on Infractions. Because of his personal involvement in the violations and failure to monitor his staff, the men’s basketball coach also violated the head coach’s responsibility rules.

In December, the school reached an agreement with enforcement personnel about violations and penalties. The Division I Infractions Committee has publicly acknowledged the infractions case so that the school can immediately begin enforcing penalties while awaiting the committee’s final decision.

The violations in this case centered around the recruitment of a highly rated men’s basketball player. First, in September of his junior year of high school, the assistant coach of Memphis men’s basketball traveled home to another state and visited with him and his family. Two weeks later, the Memphis men’s basketball coach did the same. NCAA rules, as adopted by members, require that any personal contact with recruits during the fall months of the junior year of high school be made at prospective schools, not at their homes. As a result, these visits violated recruiting rules.

Because of his personal involvement in the violations, failure to monitor violations of his staff, and his failure to consult with the Memphis Department of Compliance prior to making a home visit, the head coach also violated the head coach’s responsibility rules.

“Ignorance of the rules is no excuse,” the commission said in its decision. “The head coach’s lack of concern for compliance—particularly at a time when his program was under scrutiny in connection with a case of various infractions—has resulted in violations due to negligence. Head coaches must remain diligent in monitoring their staff and promoting compliance at all times and cannot delegate those responsibilities to compliance officers And the officials.

The committee classified the condition as Level II – Diluted for the Head Coach. In addition to the penalties approved by the school in December, the committee used the penalty guidelines for offenses approved by the Division I membership to impose a suspension from the first three games of the 2023-24 men’s basketball regular season for the head coach (10%) this season. ).

The members of the Infractions Committee are drawn from members of the NCAA and members from the public. The panelists who reviewed this case were Norman Bay, a lawyer in private practice; Cassandra Kirk, Chief Justice of the Peace for Atlanta; Gary Miller, President of Akron and Chief Hearing Officer of the Commission; Joe Novak, former head football coach at Northern Illinois University; and Dave Roberts, Special Counsel for Southern California.

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