Former Pitt basketball coach Kevin Stallings hit with show-cause penalty for NCAA violations

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The NCAA announced a three-year show-cause penalty for former Pittsburgh basketball coach Kevin Stallings on Thursday as part of a negotiated settlement with the university following an NCAA investigation into alleged rules violations by the school's men's basketball and football programs.

Stallings, who wasn't named in the report but was the Pitt coach when the violations occurred, went 24-41 with a 4-32 record in the ACC during his two seasons, which spanned 2016 to 2018. He is best known for spending 17 seasons at Vanderbilt and leading the Commodores to seven NCAA Tournament appearances between 1999 and 2016. Stallings has been out of coaching since the end of the 2017-18 season.

Under his watch, three non-coaching staff members were allowed "to perform coaching duties, resulting in the program exceeding the number of permissible coaches," according to the release from the NCAA. The negotiated resolution also concluded that "the former men's basketball coach developed an alert system to ensure non-coaching staff would not be caught on the practice floor coaching student-athletes."

The NCAA said the former head coach also ordered the deletion of practice video "in an apparent attempt to prevent the administration from confirming violations had occurred," according to Thursday's announcement. The Pitt basketball program is also accused of breaking rules by producing "personalized recruiting videos for 12 prospects to watch during their official or unofficial visits to campus," according to the NCAA announcement.

A show-cause penalty requires a school "to contact the office of the Committees on Infractions to make arrangements to show cause why restrictions on all athletically related activity should not apply."  Stallings, who did not cooperate with the NCAA investigation will be suspended for 30% of a team's games if he were to be hired in the next three years after the NCAA determined he "failed to monitor his staff and promote an atmosphere for compliance."     

According to the NCAA announcement, Pitt's former director of basketball operations also violated NCAA ethical conduct rules by refusing to participate in an NCAA interview about his involvement in coaching activities.

While the basketball violations are most glaring in Thursday's announcement, Pittsburgh football is also accused of exceeding the permissible number of coaches on the practice field under current coach Pat Narduzzi between 2015 and 2017.

"The university conducted adequate spot checks of the program, but the agreement said the violations were undetected in part due to the program's practice of playing music to indicate when outside parties were present at the practice facility," Thursday's announcement read. "Football quality control staff members reported that they would make sure they were not near student-athletes when hearing the music."

Narduzzi said in a statement from Pitt that he is "wholeheartedly committed to following NCAA rules and preventing these types of issues from happening again."

Pitt athletic director Heather Lyke said in the statement that the Pitt athletic department is "steadfastly committed to integrity and NCAA rules compliance."

"A reflection of that strong commitment is the fact that, upon discovering these violations, we immediately provided a self-report to the NCAA and began a cooperative and thorough review," Lyke said. "While disappointed in the violations, I am confident that our already-strong culture of compliance will help each of our programs avoid such situations in the future."

Here is the list of penalties, per the NCAA's announcement.

  • Three years of probation.
  • A $5,000 fine plus 0.5% of each of the men's basketball and football budgets.
  • A show-cause order for the head football coach withholding him from two days of team practices in August 2020. He also did not participate in one week of off-campus recruiting during the Dec. 1, 2019, through Feb. 1, 2020, contact period.
  • A three-year show-cause order for the former men's basketball coach. If he is employed by a member school during that time, he must be suspended from 30% of the first season of his employment.
  • A three-year show-cause order for the former director of basketball operations. During that period, any NCAA member school employing him must restrict him from any athletically related duties unless it shows cause why the restrictions should not apply.
  • A reduction in men's basketball recruiting person days by 17 during the 2017-18 academic year.
  • A reduction in the number of men's basketball countable coaches by one at regular practice for 16 hours during the 2019-20 academic year.
  • A reduction in men's basketball countable athletically related activities hours in the spring of 2020 from 20 to 18 (in-season) and eight to seven (out-of-season).
  • A reduction of countable athletically related activities for the football program by eight hours and the number of countable coaches by one for two days of practice during the 2018 football season.
  • A reduction in the number of football countable coaches by one for four days of practice in the 2019-20 academic year.
  • Two football quality control staff members must be removed from practice for three days during the 2019-20 academic year.
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