NCAA Cites Coach Calhoun

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UConn’s men’s basketball team is on probation for three years and head men’s basketball coach Jim Calhoun will be suspended for the first three conference games of next year -- the 2011-12 season because of NCAA violations.

Calhoun cannot be in the arena where the games are played and he cannot have contact with the coaching staff or players during the games.

The NCAA issued the penalty for next year because the athletic program has the right to appeal, according to the committee.

"I am very disappointed with the NCAA's decision in this case," Calhoun said in a statement Tuesday afternoon. "My lawyer and i are evaluating my options and will make a decision which way to proceed."

UConn proposed two years of probation. The three years begin today and continues to Feb. 21, 2014.

Other penalties include scholarships being reduced from 13 to 12 for three academic years – this year, next year and the third. The school proposed two years.

Other penalties include recruiting restrictions and permanent disassociation of a booster.

The university will not be able to accept financial contributions or recruiting assistance from the booster and the school will not be able to provide him with any benefit and privileges.

"Let me be clear," said acting President Philip Austin. "We will comply fully with the NCAA's sactions and work with great resolve to restore the luster to our men's basketball program."

Another penalty is that Beau Archibald, the former operations director, received a two-year show-cause order limiting his athletically related duties. He resigned in July.

The NCAA found that UConn committed more than $6,000 in improper recruiting inducements, impermissible phone calls and text messages to prospective student-athletes, including Nate Miles, who never actually played a game for the Huskies.

Among the violations the NCAA found, Calhoun failed to monitor and promote an atmosphere for compliance and there was unethical conduct by the former operations director, among other violations.

According to the NCAA, this case centers on the “extraordinary steps” UConn took to recruit a top prospective student-athlete to its men’s basketball program.

Yahoo previously reported that the case centers around Miles.

The report says Calhoun allowed a booster, who was a certified agent by the National Basketball Association, to be involved in the recruitment process.

The booster – who was an agent and hoped to represent the player-- paid at least a portion of the expenses for the man’s foot surgery, for his enrollment at a basketball academy, the registration fee for the SAT and for strength, conditioning and basketball training, the report says.

Calhoun “overlooked indications” that the booster might be breaking NCAA rules and the coaches had frequent contact with him through about 2,000 phone calls or text messages throughout the recruitment process. 

UConn athletic director Jeff Hathaway says he is disappointed that the NCAA Committee decided to add penalties above and beyond what the university self-imposed last year. "We value the principles of the NCAA and fully recommit ourselves to running a program of impeccable integrity," Hathaway said.

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