San Diego State under investigation by NCAA for potential violations

The San Diego State men's basketball program is under investigation by the NCAA for potential rules violations allegedly committed by the staff, multiple sources told CBS Sports.

A source said the potential violations include possible improper benefits to prospects.

In theory, a source said, the NCAA could eventually charge SDSU with Level 1 violations.

According to the NCAA, Level 1 violations are violations "that seriously undermine or threaten the integrity of the NCAA collegiate model as set forth in the Constitution and bylaws, including any violation that provides or is intended to provide a substantial or extensive recruiting, competitive or other advantage, or a substantial or extensive impermissible benefit."

SDSU officials released a statement subsequent to this report. It read: "Earlier today, San Diego State reached out to representatives of the NCAA's enforcement staff following a media report regarding allegations involving the school's men's basketball program. Members of the NCAA staff confirmed for the university that they have not commenced a formal investigation. Prior to the media report today, the NCAA had not contacted any member of the university regarding an investigation into the program. San Diego State takes all potential NCAA issues seriously and will cooperate fully with the NCAA."

It's important to note San Diego State officials didn't say the NCAA told them they aren't investigating allegations of potential rules violations, only that the NCAA said it hasn't commenced a "formal" investigation. Given the way the NCAA works, that's unsurprising because the NCAA always investigates before launching a "formal" investigation, and, a source told CBS Sports, that's very much the case here.

"So it's just semantics," a source said.

Meantime, the San Diego Union-Tribune independently reported Wednesday night that the NCAA is indeed "examining allegations of potential rules violations" by San Diego State. Whether the investigation will eventually lead to a "Letter of Inquiry" from the NCAA remains undetermined, as is always the case at this stage of an investigation.

San Diego State's program is led by Steve Fisher, who previously had NCAA issues after guiding Michigan to the 1989 national title. Fisher was fired in October 1997 because of his connection to what's commonly called the "Ed Martin Scandal." Martin, now deceased, provided improper benefits to several Michigan players, including Chris Webber. The NCAA's investigation resulted in the Wolverines vacating their 1992 and 1993 Final Fours.

Fisher has been San Diego State's head coach since 1999.

He's won five MWC regular-season titles.

He's made the NCAA Tournament each of the past six years.

Steve Fisher's SDSU program is being investigated by the NCAA. (USATSI)
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Gary Parrish is an award-winning college basketball columnist and television analyst for CBS Sports who also hosts the highest-rated afternoon drive radio show in Memphis, where he lives with his wife... Full Bio

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