NCAA Bans SMU From Playoffs


The NCAA has banned Southern Methodist University’s men’s basketball team from 2016 postseason play, and it has also suspended Hall of Fame coach Larry Brown for 30% of the team’s game this season due to multiple rules violations, the NCAA announced Tuesday morning. Brown was hit with a “lack of coach control” charge, and other NCAA charges against the program include academic fraud and unethical conduct.

In addition, Brown “failed to promote an atmosphere of compliance when he did not report violations and was not initially truthful during an interview with NCAA enforcement staff,” the NCAA found. Brown was also hit with a two-year show-cause order, and he will be required to attend an NCAA Regional Rules seminar during each year of the show-cause period.

SMU will also lose nine scholarships over the next three years and face recruiting restrictions.

This is the third time that a program led by Brown has been sanctioned by the NCAA. The previous two: Kansas and UCLA.

Most of the investigation at SMU centered on whether former assistant coach Ulric Maligi and a former basketball administrator helped former McDonald’s All-American Keith Frazier with coursework to become eligible to play at SMU.

Maligi left SMU in the middle of last season (and was ultimately not charged with any violations in the NCAA report); Frazier missed the second half of last season after being ruled ineligible. The former basketball administrator was at the heart of the investigation. The NCAA found that she had access to Frazier’s username and password and completed his coursework for an online class required to boost his GPA before he got to SMU.

The NCAA was unable to determine if she had been instructed by anyone within the SMU program to do so, and did state that Brown did not have any direct knowledge of her involvement in academic misconduct as it happened (and her encouraging Frazier to fabricate a story about completing his coursework at her house, which wasn’t true). Still, Brown hired this administrator and was her direct supervisor; they interacted daily.

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SOURCE: USA Today, Nicole Auerbach