Oct. 8, 2010
Storrs, Conn. - The University of Connecticut announced today reductions in the NCAA charges against the men's basketball program, as well as, its self-imposed penalties for violations of NCAA rules.
The University of Connecticut and the NCAA enforcement staff have agreed that the time period for which the institution has been charged for failing to monitor its men's basketball program be reduced from four years to two years (2007-2009). The agreement came during the University's pre-hearing conference with the enforcement staff on September 21.
As a part of the NCAA infractions process, involved parties to an infractions case meet with the NCAA enforcement staff to narrow the issues that will be addressed by the Committee on Infractions during the hearing. At the end of the institution's pre-hearing conference on September 21, the charges concerning the University's failure to monitor and head men's basketball coach Jim Calhoun's failure to promote an atmosphere for compliance were narrowed to a two-year period (2007-2009), rather than four years as previously alleged. The enforcement staff also removed all references to impermissible calls placed by associate head coach George Blaney.
The self-imposed sanctions are detailed in the University's Response to the Notice of Allegations and are the result of the violations that the University believes occurred. The University's Response was submitted to the NCAA Committee on Infractions on September 7, 2010, and made public today through the University's athletics website.
"I am deeply disappointed the university is in this position," said University of Connecticut president Philip E. Austin. "It is clear mistakes have been made. This is a serious matter and we have worked in full cooperation with the NCAA. We look forward to fully resolving these issues and restoring our men's basketball program to a level of unquestioned integrity."
"This report reflects our thorough and extensive review of the facts in this case pertaining to our men's basketball program," said UConn Director of Athletics Jeffrey Hathaway. "In the course of this review, it became clear that there were some areas of oversight that needed to be addressed. We have worked diligently during the past several months to address these issues and, as a result, have improved the administration of the program. Our immediate attention is focused on the meeting in Indianapolis with the Committee on Infractions, and we look forward to using this experience to improve the operation of our entire intercollegiate athletics program."
The University has self-imposed a two-year period of probation on its athletics program and reduced the number of scholarships for the men's basketball program from 13 to 12 for the 2010-11 and 2011-12 academic years. In addition, reductions to the permissible number of coaches allowed to make telephone contacts with prospective student-athletes and "recruiting person days" have also been self-imposed.
The University has detailed in its Response that the available evidence does not support the enforcement staff's charge that head men's basketball coach Jim Calhoun "failed to promote an atmosphere for compliance".
The University has also provided its conclusions to the unethical conduct charges that were brought against former members of the men's basketball staff.
Through the investigation, the University determined that the men's basketball staff engaged in impermissible telephone calls and text messages and provided game tickets to individuals contrary to NCAA legislation. Also, the University determined that a former staff member provided impermissible assistance to a prospective student-athlete. Further, it was determined that a former men's basketball manager and later professional basketball agent provided impermissible benefits to the same prospective student-athlete. Finally, the University concluded that it failed to monitor the above referenced impermissible activities.
The University will make no further comment concerning its Response to the Notice of Allegations until after it presents its case to the Committee on Infractions on October 15.