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Runnin’ Utes hit with NCAA recruiting sanctions

SALT LAKE CITY — According to a Division I Committee on Infractions panel, the Utah men’s basketball program conducted impermissible recruiting activities in April of 2018. Per Utah Athletics, The University has accepted all penalties set forth in the report—most of which were self-imposed­ by the University.

“The University of Utah is committed to integrity in all of its endeavors,” said Utah Director of Athletics Mark Harlan. “While we take any violation of NCAA rules seriously, we are confident these actions were isolated and inadvertent and have been fully addressed by the University and the NCAA. Through this process, we took the opportunity to conduct a comprehensive evaluation of our compliance education and monitoring practices and put additional checks and balances in place as a result.”

“While they were inadvertent and unintentional mistakes on our part, and there was never an intent to circumvent any rules, we accept that they were violations and, as the head coach, I am accountable for them,” said head coach Larry Krystkowiak. “I have always been a strong proponent of protecting the integrity of college basketball and that will not change.”

The NCAA’s explanation of the violations – The recruiting violations occurred over a seven-day period in April 2018. According to the committee, an assistant coach misapplied recruiting rules and believed off-campus recruiting activities were allowed during a quiet period. Acting on the misunderstanding, the committee said the assistant coach conducted an evaluation of a recruit at a community college, and the full men’s basketball coaching staff visited a second recruit at his high school during the quiet period.

The committee found that the associate head coach coordinated with a local community college’s men’s basketball head coach to get the high school prospect to the university’s campus for a visit. The community college paid for the prospect to visit the community college. While the prospect was in the area, he also visited the Utah campus, according to the committee.

When he arranged the prospect’s trip, the community college head coach became a booster, the committee said. Because he was a booster, the coach’s contact with the prospect and the money spent to bring the prospect to the state and to the university violated NCAA recruiting rules. Since the community college paid for the prospect’s visit to the university, the visit was classified as official and caused the university to exceed the number of allowable official visits.

The sanctions are as follows:

  • Two years of probation.
  • A $5,000 fine (self-imposed by the university).
  • Recruiting restrictions, including:
      • A prohibition of all four countable men’s basketball coaches from off-campus recruiting for a five-day period from July 11-15, 2018 (self-imposed by the university).
      • A reduction of men’s basketball in-person recruiting days from 130 to 113 for the 2018-19 academic year (self-imposed by the university).
      • A three-week ban on men’s basketball unofficial visits and complimentary admissions beginning Nov. 2, 2018 (self-imposed by the university).
      • A reduction in the number of men’s basketball official visits by two in 2018-19, representing an 8% reduction in visits, based on the four-year average (self-imposed by the university).
  • A one-year show-cause order for the associate head coach. The terms of the show-cause include:
      • A one-week suspension for the associate head coach from Nov. 13-19, 2018 (self-imposed by the university).
      • Required attendance at a 2019 Regional Rules Seminar (self-imposed by the university).
      • A prohibition of off-campus recruiting activities during July 2019.
    • A one-year disassociation of the community college head coach.
    • A prohibition from men’s basketball coaches from the community college participating in any official or unofficial visits on the Utah campus for one year. Further for one year, Utah will not recruit any prospects from the community college (self-imposed by the university).
    • Attendance at an NCAA Regional Rules Seminar by the two assistant men’s basketball coaches (self-imposed by the university).

All Utah Utes news and notes found at espn700sports.com


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