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NCAA: No more punishment for San Diego in game-fixing case

By Matt Norlander | Staff Writer

The NCAA and the University of San Diego announced late Tuesday that the investigation/review of USD's program was over, ending the most recent scandal involving point shaving in college basketball.

Brandon Johnson, the all-time leading scorer and assist-maker in Toreros history, was involved in a 10-man federal conspiracy ring that included drug sales and illegal betting on games, including an attempt to compromise games during the 2009-10 season. He is currently serving a six-month prison sentence that began on May 31 after pleading guilty to his involvement in the case. Also serving time is T.J. Brown, a former assistant at San Diego in 2006-07 who was sentenced to a year in federal prison for being involved in the conspiracy.

The university has disassociated itself with Johnson and Brown, and the NCAA accepted USD's compliance in the matter by agreeing to the self-submitted secondary violation San Diego offered up. No further improper conduct within the program was found in the review. That means no postseason bans, no scholarship losses, and no probation. The NCAA is in effect sending a message that this was a former player and coach who went rogue, and not something requiring punitive measures against the university, athletic department or men's basketball program. (NCAA legislative expert John Infante explains why this verdict is consistent and makes sense here.)

It was only after the criminal part of this case concluded in the spring that the NCAA reviewed the matter. The story broke when federal authorities unsealed the details in April of 2011.

"We are happy with the NCAA's conclusion of this matter and truly appreciate its review of this case in a thorough, efficient and timely manner," school president Mary E. Lyons said in a statement.

As the drama played out, all coaches and players with San Diego basketball claimed they had no influence or matter of conspiracy relating to Johnson's schemes. Johnson was found to have attempted to recruit USD players during the 2010-11 season to fix games, but to no avail. Johnson pleaded guilty to this count on Nov. 16, 2012.

On record, there have been seven game-fixing scandals in college basketball over the past 62 years: City College of New York (1951); Boston College (1979); Tulane (1985); Arizona State (1994); Northwestern (1995); Toledo (2008); and San Diego (2010).

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