April 30, 1998
LOS ANGELES - Due to infractions which occurred under the previous head coach, the UCLA men's basketball program has had a series of sanctions imposed upon it by the NCAA Committee on Infractions. The penalties do not include post-season, television or scholarship sanctions. The NCAA investigation was a follow-up to the investigation by the Pacific-10 Conference, which concluded in June of 1997.
In its report, the NCAA commented that the Committee on Infractions did not impose all of the presumptive penalties in this case "because the violations were relatively limited and because of the swift and decisive actions taken by UCLA, including appropriate corrective measures and the termination of the head coach's employment." In addition, corrective measures, including restitution in the infractions regarding extra benefits, have already been implemented.
The Committee on Infractions also stated that if the former head men's basketball coach had still been employed by UCLA, the University would have been required to show cause why it should not be subject to additional penalties if it had failed to take appropriate disciplinary action against him.
"The infractions cited in the NCAA report occurred at least 17 months ago," said UCLA Director of Athletics Peter T. Dalis. "Although as a group the NCAA classified the infractions as major and included an unethical conduct finding, we believe each separately would have been classified as secondary in nature. All of the infractions mentioned in this report were part of the Pacific-10 Conference's report. No new infractions were found during the NCAA's investigation. In addition, the NCAA staff stated that the findings, only when assessed as a whole, not individually, constitute a major infractions case."
"It is important to point out that the infractions cited were self reported by UCLA to the NCAA and that the University cooperated fully with the Pac-10 and the NCAA.
"We are happy that this situation has finally been brought to a conclusion and that we can continue to move forward in our basketball program," Dalis concluded.
Although UCLA was cited for a major violation in its softball program last May, these sanctions are not subject to the provisions of NCAA Bylaw 126.96.36.199, concerning repeat violators in a five-year span, because the violations in this report occurred prior to the issuance of the softball report.
The infractions were as follows:
- The head men's basketball coach involved in this case violated the NCAA standards of ethical conduct. On November 6, 1996, the head coach of the men's basketball program was dismissed from his position.
- A club coach was provided four complimentary tickets for 14 basketball games during the 1993-94 season. When the University became aware that players on this club had become prospective student-athletes (ninth grade), the coach no longer received four tickets but was treated like any other coach of a recruitable student-athlete. The club coach also received a 1995 NCAA championship ring, purchased by the former UCLA head coach.
- On two occasions during the 1995-96 academic year, a men's basketball student-athlete who was serving as a student host took a prospective student-athlete to a professional basketball game and did not include the cost of the tickets in the NCAA-allowable student-host entertainment money for official visits.
- During four months from July through October of 1996, four recruits, two of whom shared a residence, received between two and four telephone calls per week on two occasions. NCAA rules limit the number of telephone contacts with a prospective student-athlete to one per week.
- During the 1992-93 academic year, the mother of a student-athlete flew on the private plane. She paid $100 for the round-trip fare, comparable to the cost of a commercial airline ticket. The NCAA Committee on Infractions found that the fee should have been the proportionate cost of a seat on a charter flight, not the commercial ticket price.
- During the 1995-96 school years and the Fall of 1996, 10 men's basketball student-athletes received various numbers of free meals at a local fast-food restaurant. The student-athletes involved were required to make restitution over one year ago.
- On October 11, 1996, two men's basketball student-athletes each received a free dinner during an official visit of three prospective student-athletes, even though neither student-athlete was a student host. The two student-athletes who received this extra benefit were required to repay the cost of the meal and were also required to perform 20 hours each of community service.
The NCAA accepted disciplinary actions taken by the institution and conference, which were contained in the Pac-10's report of June 1997. Those are listed in the NCAA Committee on Infractions Report.
In addition, the Committee on Infractions imposed the following penalties:
- Three years of probation, beginning on April 30, 1998, which extends the current probation period to April 30, 2001.
- Reduction by six the number of permissible official visits in men's basketball during each of the 1998-99 and 1999-2000 academic years. The reduction of official visits allowed will still leave UCLA with six for each of the next two academic years. The 1998-99 Bruin roster will include one senior, one junior, five sophomores and probably five freshmen among the recruited scholarship players. Over the last four years, UCLA has averaged 7.5 visits per year.
- Recertification of current athletics policies and practices.
- Requirement that the institution continue to develop a comprehensive athletics compliance education program and that it include representatives of its athletic interests, with annual reports to the committee during the period of probation.
- Requirement that the former head men's basketball coach and his current employer appear before the Committee on Infractions to discuss his involvement in the case and possible restrictions on his athletic duties.
The recertification of current policies and practices and continued development of a comprehensive compliance education program is already in progress.