Central Florida hit with one-year postseason ban in both sports

By Jeff Goodman | College Basketball Insider

Central Florida has been hit with a one-year bowl ban in football and a one-year postseason ban in men's basketball for exhibiting a lack of institutional control and also impermissible recruiting activities.

The ruling was handed down by the NCAA on Tuesday due to the relationship between Ken Caldwell and coaches from both the football and men's basketball sides at Central Florida. Caldwell is considered an "outside third party." The school had self-imposed sanctions on its men's basketball program: Head coach Donnie Jones served a three-game suspension last season, victories were vacated from 2008 to 2011 and there was a reduction in both scholarships and recruiting days.

However, the NCAA -- in its latest effort to implement stiffer penalties -- whacked the school with the postseason ban in both sports.

The interesting aspect is that Central Florida was hit with the postseason ban when UConn did not receive one one due to its involvement with agent Josh Nochimson. Sources told CBSSports.com that the major factors in the postseason ban were the following:

1) Involvement with an individual associated with a prospect

2) A significant competitive advantage resulted

3) The violations reflect a lack of institutional control

4) The institution is a repeat violatior

Central Florida head coach George O'Leary was not named, but according to sources, it was former athletic director Keith Tribble's involvement and long-standing relationship with Caldwell that was the primary reason for the postseason bans on both sides. Tribble, who resigned in November, introduced Jones to Caldwell after he took over for Kirk Speraw in 2010 and was hit with a three-year show cause by the NCAA. Tribble and former assistant football coach David Kelly were both found guilty of unethical conduct.

The allegations were that Caldwell helped attempt to get several players to Central Florida, but just one -- A.J. Rompza -- wound up playing at Central Florida and was recruited by the previous staff.

Jones was also hit with a three-year show cause order, but he has already served the majority of the penalties provided as part of the self-imposed sanctions. He'll have to attend regional rules in 2013 and 2014 at his own expense and won't be allowed to go out on the road next July to recruit. Basically, all this means is that any school that hires Jones in the next three years would have to make certain he has met these conditions.

Central Florida's men's basketball team was believed to be able to compete for a postseason berth. The Knight are in their final year in Conference USA and will join the Big East in 2013-14. The ban will prevent the football team, which was 5-7 last season, from competing in the C-USA championship. The basketball team won't be able to participate in the league tourney and also the NCAA tournament. It'll be interesting to see if the team's three seniors -- including all-league forward Keith Clanton -- stick around and play for the Knights this year.

Michael Jordan's son, Marcus, was still undecided if he was going to return and play college basketball this season. However, this could also allow him to go elsewhere and play this season without having to sit out.

Here are the penalities handed down by the NCAA:

- Public reprimand and censure.

- Five years probation from 2012-2017.

- Postseason ban for the 2012 football season and 2012-13 men's basketball season.

- Head men's basketball coach was suspended for the first three league games of the 2011-12 season (self-imposed and already served) and given a three-year show-cause order starting in 2012-13. The coach may not recruit off-campus during July in 2012 and 2013.

- Assistant men's basketball coach was suspended for the first two conference games of the 2011-12 season (self-imposed and already served). Additionally, may not recruit in July of 2012 and 2013.

- Three-year show-cause for former AD Keith Tribble and a one-year show cause for former assistant coach David Kelly.

- Reduction of five initial (from 25 maximum) and five total (from 85 maximum) football scholarships for three academic years.

- Limit of 11 men's basketball scholarships (from 13) for three years.

- $50,000 fine.

- Validation of all men's basketball wins from 2008 to 2011.

- Reduction of number of off-campus recruiters.

- Reduction in number of recruiting days by 25 for men's basketball during the 2012-13 and 2013-14.

- Reduction in number of recruiting days for football.

- Reduction of official paid visits on both the football and men's basketball side.

 
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