Central Florida's football and men's basketball team will be hit with a one-year postseason ban from the NCAA for major recruiting violations, sources told CBSSports.com's Jeff Goodman. The NCAA Committee on Infractions officially announced the full set of sanctions on Tuesday.
UCF already self imposed three years of probation for the athletic department, the loss of one men's basketball scholarship for the next two years, and recruiting restrictions that include limiting official visits for football and men's basketball for the the next two years.
In a news conference to respond to the NCAA's findings, UCF president John Hitt said while he "generally accepts" the penalties levied, the school will appeal the postseason ban in football.
"We just don't feel the violations outlined in the NCAA bylaws justify the sanctions," Hitt said.
The Committee on Infractions officially cited the school for numerous recruiting violations and lack of institutional control. As a result, the NCAA has penalized UCF with five years of probation, a postseason ban in men's basketball and football, show-cause orders for athletics department personnel, scholarship reductions, recruiting restrictions, a vacation of men's basketball records and a $50,000 fine.
Full details of the penalties can be found below:
- Public reprimand and censure.
- Five years probation from February 10, 2012, through February 9, 2017.
- Postseason ban for the 2012 football season and 2012-13 men's basketball season.
- The head men's basketball coach was suspended for the first three conference games of the 2011-12 season (self-imposed by the university) and given a three-year show-cause order starting with the 2012-13 season. Details of the show-cause orders can be found in the public report. Additionally, the coach may not recruit off-campus during all three July evaluation periods for the July 2012 and July 2013 evaluation periods.
- An assistant men's basketball coach was suspended for the first two conference games of the 2011-12 season (self-imposed by the university). Additionally, the coach may not recruit off-campus during all three July evaluation periods for the July 2012 and July 2013 evaluation periods.
- A three-year show-cause order for the former director of athletics and a one-year show cause for the former assistant football coach. The show-cause orders do not allow any contact with prospective student-athletes. The public report contains further details. Disassociation of three representatives of athletics interest (self-imposed by the university).
- Reduction of five initial (from 25 maximum) and five total (from 85 maximum) football scholarships for three academic years.
- A limit of 11 men's basketball scholarships (from 13 maximum) for three academic years. $50,000 fine.
- Vacation of all men's basketball wins in which an ineligible student-athlete competed for the 2008-09, 2009-10 and 2010-11 seasons. The public report includes further details (self-imposed by the university).
- Reduction of two full-time football coaches permitted to recruit off-campus during the 2012-13 and 2013-14 academic years.
- Reduction of one full-time men's basketball coach permitted to recruit off-campus during the 2012-13 and 2013-14 academic years.
- Reduction in the available number of recruiting person days by 25 for men's basketball during the 2012-13 and 2013-14 academic years (self-imposed by the university).
- Reduction in the available number of recruiting person days by nine in the fall football evaluation period and 34 in the spring football evaluation period during the 2012-13 and 2013-14 academic years (self-imposed by the university).
- Football official paid visits are limited to 30 for each of the 2012-13 and 2013-14 academic years. Men's basketball official paid visits are limited to seven for each of the 2012-13 and 2013-14 academic years (self-imposed by the university).
The Knights are entering their final academic year in Conference USA, set to join the Big East for the 2013-14 academic year. The ban will prevent UCF's football team from competing for the Conference USA championship, and also the men's basketball team from participating in both the Conference USA Tournament in Tulsa, Okla. and NCAA Tournament.
The NCAA began investigating UCF recruiting in 2011, when investigators alleged that Ken Caldwell - a Chicago man with ties to several football and basketball players - was working with a professional agent to steer recruits to UCF. The NCAA alleged that Caldwell provided $16,005.74 worth of benefits to 11 UCF football and men's basketball recruits, beginning in March 2009.
The NCAA also alleged that former UCF athletics director Keith Tribble arranged employment for the mother of a UCF football recruit and knowingly misled the institution and NCAA investigators.
Tribble resigned at the request of UCF President John Hitt in November and men's basketball coach Donnie Jones was suspended for three Conference USA games as part of the self-imposed sanctions. Head football coach George O'Leary was issued a letter of reprimand for allowing the violations to take place under his watch.
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