NCAA Basketball: University of Connecticut cited for eight major rules violations

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Friday, May 28, 2010

Jim Calhoun with player Rudy Gay

The men's basketball program of the University of Connecticut (UConn) has been cited by the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) for eight major violations of its recruiting policy. These allegations have resulted in the resignation of two of the team's assistant coaches, Beau Archibald and Patrick Sellers. Head coach Jim Calhoun is also accused by the NCAA of not monitoring the activities of his assistant coaches closely enough, which they said lead to the rules violations.

These citations come after the NCAA's 15-monthlong investigation relating to the team's possible recruiting violations of Nate Miles, who was set to play for the team during the 2007–08 season until he was expelled from the school for a restraining order violation. Sellers and Archibald are accused of placing 160 unauthorized phone calls and sending 191 unauthorized text messages to recruits who had not yet committed to play for the team yet, which is a violation of NCAA rules because teams are only allowed to place a certain amount of phone calls to recruits.

"Coaching is my passion and something I have spent many years of enjoyment doing I want the record to reflect this and for the people to see the respect and integrity that I will show toward the process in the months ahead," said Sellers in a statement, promising to cooperate with any further NCAA investigation.

Former coach Archibald also allegedly placed an unauthorized phone call that lasted approximately 29 minutes. However, the player's name was kept anonymous and withheld from the report. The investigation also reports that the two accused assistant coaches gave improper and false information when NCAA investigators interviewed the two about the situation. Both Sellers and Archibald have resigned within the past 2 weeks.

It's not exactly, certainly anywhere near the high point of my career, as a matter of fact it's certainly one of the lowest points at any time that you are accused of doing something. It's a very serious matter," said Calhoun, who has been the coach for UConn for the past 28 years. Calhoun, 68, has already been enshrined in the College Basketball Hall of Fame and recently signed a $13 million contract extension with UConn. In the NCAA report, Calhoun, among other things, was criticised for not watching over "...the conduct and administration of the men's basketball staff in the areas of: telephone records, representatives of the institution's athletics interests; and, complimentary admissions or discretionary tickets,"

UConn has been scheduled to appear in front of NCAA investigators on October 18 for sanctioning and further investigation. It is likely that the basketball program could lose scholarships and receive probation.