The University of Connecticut says it has imposed a two-year period of probation on its athletics program, and has cut one men’s basketball scholarship this year and next, acknowledging the men’s basketball program did commit major NCAA recruiting violations.
The school released the self-imposed sanctions as part of its response to charges of violations of recruiting rules of the National Collegiate Athletic Association.
A release from the university says some of the charges have been narrowed : the time period for which UConn is charged with failing to monitor the men’s basketball program has been reduced from four years to two years. And the NCAA enforcement staff also removed references to phone calls placed by associate head coach George Blaney.
UConn’s response says its own investigation did not support the NCAA charge that head coach Jim Calhoun “failed to promote an atmosphere for compliance.” It says it did find that members of the men’s basketball staff took part in communications which are not allowed, including telephone calls and text messages, and that a former staff member provided impermissable assistance to a prospective recruit.
UConn will present its case to the Committee on Infractions next week.
UConn President Philip Austin says it is clear that mistakes have been made, and says he is “deeply disappointed the university is in this position. “ He says the school has cooperated fully with the NCAA and hopes to resolve the issues and restore the men’s basketball program to what he described as “a level of unquestioned integrity.”
Athletic Director Jeff Hathaway says as the school reviewed the NCAA case, it found areas which needed to be addressed.
The University’s response was submitted to the NCAA last month, and published on the school’s website today, including exhibits presented to the enforcement agency.