NCAA sanctions SMU basketball, coach Larry Brown for rules violations

Tue Sep 29, 2015 6:03pm EDT
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By Steve Ginsburg

(Reuters) - The NCAA on Tuesday banned the Southern Methodist University men's basketball team from postseason play in 2016 and suspended head coach Larry Brown for 30 percent of the team's games this season because of multiple rules violations, including academic fraud.

SMU was also cited for unethical conduct and a lack of control by the head coach, according to a National Collegiate Athletic Association infraction panel.

The NCAA said a former assistant coach encouraged a player to enroll in an online course to meet eligibility standards and be admitted to the Dallas-based university. After the player enrolled in the course, a former administrative assistant received the student’s online credentials and completed all of his course work.

"(Brown) failed to promote an atmosphere of compliance under NCAA rules when he did not report the violations about which he knew," said Michael Adams, chief hearing officer and chancellor of Pepperdine University. "And he was not initially truthful during an interview with the NCAA enforcement staff."

Brown said in a statement: "I am saddened and disappointed that the Committee on Infractions believes that I did not fully fulfill my duties and I will consider my options to challenge that assertion in the coming days."

Brown, 75, is the only coach to win both NCAA and NBA titles. A guard in the old American Basketball Association, Brown was enshrined in the Basketball Hall of Fame as a coach in 2002.

Although the NCAA did not name those involved other than Brown, the investigation centered on assistant coach Ulric Maligi and player Keith Frazier.

Maligi, who left SMU last season, was not cited for any violations by the NCAA. Frazier missed the second half of last season after being ruled ineligible.   Continued...