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Division I Committee on Infractions Issues Decision on Morehead State University

For Immediate Release

Wednesday, August 25, 2010


Stacey Osburn
Associate Director of Public and Media Relations

INDIANAPOLIS---The NCAA Division I Committee on Infractions has found Morehead State University committed major violations in its men’s basketball program. The violations pertain to a booster’s involvement in recruiting prospective student-athletes, including impermissible offers and inducements. The case also includes a failure by the head coach to monitor his basketball coaching staff members in connection with their interactions with the booster.

Penalties in this case include two years probation, scholarship reduction and recruiting restrictions.

This case was resolved through the summary disposition process, a cooperative effort where the involved parties submit the case to the Committee on Infractions in written form. When the NCAA enforcement staff, the university and involved individuals agree to the facts of the case and the university-proposed penalties, they may use this process instead of having a formal hearing.

From the fall of 2006 through April 2009, the head men’s coach, an assistant coach and other members of the men’s basketball staff had knowledge of, and at times directed or encouraged, impermissible recruiting activities of the booster. This booster, a university alumnus and financial contributor, was involved in the recruitment of more than 30 prospective student-athletes. His activities included evaluations, telephone contact, arranging workouts, assisting in the arrangement of official and unofficial visits, and offering improper recruiting inducements for prospective student-athletes. Through these activities, the booster became a countable coach, resulting in the men’s basketball program exceeding its countable coach limit by one.

The booster also arranged airline transportation and provided a loan for the cost of flights for two family members of a men’s basketball student-athlete.

During this time, the head coach and the booster exchanged 87 telephone calls and text messages, most of which included information regarding prospective student-athletes. Additionally, the two exchanged more than 200 e-mails, some in which the booster provided details of evaluations and contacts with prospective student-athletes.

The committee found that the scope and nature of the violations demonstrated the head men’s basketball coach failed to promote an atmosphere for compliance. Specifically, the head coach allowed and encouraged the booster’s assistance with the recruitment of student-athletes. The head coach also directed his staff to interact with the booster regarding recruitment efforts.

The penalties in this case include:

  • Public reprimand and censure.
  • Two years of probation from August 25, 2010, through August 24, 2012.
  • Reduction of one athletics scholarship in men’s basketball, from 13 to 12, for the 2011-12 academic year (Self-imposed by the university).
  • Reduction in the number of remaining recruiting days by 30 for the 2009-10 academic year. The head coach must assume 10 of those days (Self-imposed by the university).
  • Reduction in the number of recruiting days by 15 for the 2010-11 academic year. The head coach must assume five of those days (Self-imposed by the university).
  • Reduction of three official visits, from 12 to nine, for the 2010-11 academic year (Self-imposed by the university).
  • Reduction in the number of permissible telephone calls to each senior prospective student-athlete from two per week to one per week during the 2009-10 academic year (Self-imposed by the university).

The members of the Committee on Infractions who reviewed this case include Paul Dee, lecturer in law and education at the University of Miami and formerly the institution's athletics director and general counsel. He is the chair of the Committee on Infractions. Other members are Josephine (Jo) R. Potuto, the Richard H. Larson Professor of Constitutional Law at the University of Nebraska College of Law; Melissa Conboy, deputy director of athletics at University of Notre Dame; James O’Fallon, a law professor and faculty athletic representative for University of Oregon; John S. Black, attorney; and Roscoe Howard, Jr., attorney.