UConn, NCAA: Not First Time Crossing Paths

On Friday, UConn confirmed via a statement, that the NCAA has launched “an inquiry into the men’s basketball program.” It is not the first time UConn and the NCAA have crossed paths that resulted in the university paying a price:

Kirk King, Ricky Moore, Plane Tickets

In October 1995 UConn players Ricky Moore, a sophomore, and senior Kirk King, accept airline tickets from a sports agent named John Lounsbury. In January 1997 UConn discovers the infraction and files a 25-page report with the NCAA. As a result, the NCAA suspends King for the remainder of his career and sat Moore for five games.

In May, the NCAA additionally ruled UConn must repay $90,970 of NCAA Tournament revenue and vacate three postseason wins. “I think it's time to move on, not to say whether this was fair or not. This is what they've imposed on us and we have to accept it,” athletic director Lew Perkins said at the time.

Nate Miles, Text Messages, Phone Calls

In March 2009, Yahoo! Sports reported that UConn has broken a number of NCAA rules in the recruitment of Nate Miles, many involving excessive phone calls and text messages between UConn coaches, including Jim Calhoun, and former team manager Josh Nochimson. The Yahoo! report claims Nochimson had been representing Miles as an agent. In October 2010, UConn admits in a statement posted to the athletic department website that its men's basketball staff made impermissible phone calls to recruits and improperly distributed game tickets to high school and AAU coaches. UConn also agrees with the NCAA allegation that the university failed to monitor benefits and assistance provided by an agent to a basketball recruit. In February 2011 the NCAA rules that, in addition to a number of limitations placed on the recruitment of players, Calhoun is suspended for the first three Big East games of the 2011-12 season and the program is placed on three years of probation. UConn also announces the resignations of director of basketball operations Beau Archibald and assistant coach Patrick Sellers as a result. Both men are accused by the NCAA of lying.

Academic Shortcomings

In February 2012, after falling below required academic-performance standards, UConn submits a proposal to the NCAA that says it would impose its own penalties in order to keep the men's basketball program eligible for the 2013 postseason. The NCAA takes two days to reject the proposal and in April denies a second and final appeal. The Huskies close out the 2012-13 season with a 63-59 overtime win against Providence. The team finishes with a 20-10 record. On the ban, Shabazz Napier commented after the game: “The team was so resentful that we were never going to quit. It just seemed right. Today showed that we had about six or seven guys on the court ready to play and we still stayed together, and that's a beautiful thing."

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