University of the Pacific announced today that it is imposing several penalties on its men's basketball program as it continues a cooperative investigation with the NCAA stemming from allegations of academic misconduct within Athletics.
The self-imposed sanctions are:
- Withholding the men's basketball team from post-season competition this season, which will include the West Coast Conference tournament in March.
- Reducing the number of basketball scholarships by a total of six for a period of three years. (The NCAA allows 13 athletes on the men's basketball team to be on scholarship in a given year. The number of scholarships will be reduced by an average of two per year for the three-year period.)
- Limiting recruiting efforts in other areas.
Current student-athletes in the men's basketball program will continue to receive their scholarships.
"This is a difficult decision to make, but it seems clear that Level I violations have occurred, and thus immediate actions by the university are warranted," said Athletic Director Ted Leland. "Taking these actions at this stage demonstrates our steadfast commitment to integrity and fair play, and serves as a crucial step for moving the program forward."
Level I violations are the most serious NCAA rules infractions, and include academic misconduct.
"The University's Board of Regents supports Pacific as it takes actions necessary to uphold the highest standards of academic and athletic integrity and ethical behavior," said Board Chair Kathleen Lagorio Janssen.
Based on information from the cooperative investigation to date, the university determined that Pacific men's basketball staff members provided impermissible academic assistance to student-athletes who had enrolled in correspondence courses at other institutions to meet university and/or NCAA eligibility requirements.
Leland stressed that the NCAA investigation remains under way, and said possible violations in a limited number of other areas are still under review.
The self-imposed sanctions follow an announcement Dec. 11 that men's basketball Head Coach Ron Verlin and Assistant Coach Dwight Young had been suspended in connection with the investigation. In addition, Pacific on Nov. 5 made the decision to withhold three men's basketball student-athletes from competition. One of the players was reinstated on Dec. 4. Two remain ineligible.
Assistant Coach Mike Burns is serving as interim head coach for men's basketball.