SMU banned from postseason; Larry Brown suspended
The SMU men’s basketball team has been banned from postseason play this upcoming season in the wake of an NCAA investigation that uncovered rules violations. As a result, Hall of Fame head coach Larry Brown has also been suspended for 30 percent of his team’s games.
According to Jeff Goodman of ESPN.com, Brown has been sanctioned due to a “lack of head coach control.” The 75-year-old coach will miss nine games. SMU has also been placed on three years probation and will forfeit nine scholarships during that span.
A portion of the NCAA investigation stemmed from whether former SMU basketball administrator and assistant coach Ulric Maligi helped Mustangs guard Keith Frazier become eligible to play. Maligi took a leave of absence in the middle of last season and reportedly refused to cooperate with investigators.
Brown, whose programs have been sanctioned three times by the NCAA, learned about the alleged violation from Maligi after it occurred but did not report the issue in a timely fashion and was not clear with NCAA officials about what happened when he was first interviewed.
An official announcement regarding sanctions is expected Tuesday.
UPDATE: The NCAA released an official report that included details of the sanctions. Gary Parrish of CBS Sports shared some of the info:
Brown was hit with a “lack of coach control” charge and given a two-year show-cause order. He’ll now be required to attend an NCAA Regional Rules seminar during each year of the show-cause period, and his program will be placed on three years probation and lose three scholarships for three straight years starting in 2016-17 — although SMU will be given credit for its self-imposed two-scholarship reduction for 2015-16, the NCAA announced.
The NCAA’s investigation discovered that former assistant Ulric Maligi “encouraged [Keith Frazier] to enroll in an online course to meet NCAA initial eligibility standards and be admitted to the university. After he enrolled in the course, a former men’s basketball administrative assistant obtained the student’s username and password then completed all of his coursework. The student-athlete received fraudulent credit for the course and, as a result, competed while ineligible during his freshman season. When speaking with NCAA enforcement staff, the student-athlete admitted that the former administrative assistant asked him to provide false information during the interview. In its decision, the panel noted it is very troubled that academic advising was administered by athletics staff.”