For the past nineteen months, the University of Missouri has worked collaboratively with the NCAA enforcement staff to review potential violations in its men’s basketball program. In December 2013, the NCAA enforcement staff received information regarding potential violations involving a then men’s basketball student-athlete. A verbal notice of inquiry was provided to the institution on April 14, 2014.
Through the collaborative investigation, it has become evident violations of NCAA bylaws occurred dating back to 2011. There are four levels of violations in the NCAA enforcement process, ranging from Level I and Level II, considered major infractions, to Level III and Level IV, which are secondary in nature. The violations based on supporting evidence which both the university and the NCAA agree occurred, include:
Level I – A donor (Representative #1) to MU Athletics provided impermissible benefits to three men’s basketball student-athletes and one prospective men’s basketball student-athlete from 2013-2014. The impermissible benefits included compensating student-athletes for work-not-performed at a business through a summer internship program. Through the internship program, the donor also provided other impermissible inducements and extra benefits including housing, cash in the amount of $520, local transportation, iPads, meals and arranged for the use of a local gym for the student-athletes, all in violation of NCAA bylaws.
Level II – A second donor (Representative #2) was discovered to have provided impermissible benefits to 11 student-athletes and three members of one student-athlete’s family from 2011-2014. The benefits included providing student-athletes with a “friends & family” reduced rate at a hotel as well as meals and a ride on a recreational boat. A Missouri men’s basketball student-manager also provided transportation for multiple student-athletes to the hotel from the Missouri campus, all in violation of NCAA bylaws.
Level II – Because the University of Missouri did not fully vet the summer internship employment opportunity and follow-up to request documentation at the conclusion of the 2013 and 2014 internships with Representative #1, the institution was cited with a failure to adequately monitor the internship program.
Level III – A former associate head men’s basketball coach assisted in the relocation of a prospective student-athlete by providing the phone number of the prospect’s mother to a donor (Representative #2) to arrange for rental housing. The family paid a market rate for the rental. However, the actions of the former associate head coach are in violation of NCAA bylaws.
Level III – Representative #1 had multiple impermissible recruiting contacts with a prospective student-athlete and paid for a meal for a non-scholastic coach, in violation of NCAA bylaws.
Once NCAA violations were substantiated in this process, the university took action to hold student-athletes, staff and donors who were involved accountable. Those actions are:
Restitution and withholding from competition for impermissible benefits received by student-athletes was imposed as necessary.
The former associate head men’s basketball coach was prohibited from off-campus recruiting for a period of three months while the review process was underway.
The university permanently disassociated Representative #1, prohibiting him from receiving tickets, making donations or otherwise representing the university.
The university disassociated Representative #2 for a period of two years, prohibiting him from receiving tickets, making donations or otherwise representing the university.
The university vacated all wins from the 2013-14 season.
The university will pay the NCAA a fine in the prescribed amount of $5,000.
The university self-imposed the loss of one men’s basketball scholarship in 2015-16 and an additional scholarship loss to be incurred no later than the 2017-18 season.
The university placed restrictions on the recruiting activities of the men’s basketball staff during the years of 2014-15 through 2016-17.
The university imposed a one-year postseason ban for the 2015-16 men’s basketball season, which prohibits the team from participating in the 2016 SEC Men’s Basketball Tournament, and any other postseason competition sanctioned by the NCAA. As such, the university will not receive any revenues from the 2016 SEC or NCAA men’s basketball tournaments.
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