N.C.A.A. Bars Calhoun for 3 Big East Games Next Season

The N.C.A.A. suspended UConn Coach Jim Calhoun cJim Calhounccc for three Big East conference games next season for seriously violating its recruiting rules. One of his recruits, Nate Miles, received $6,000 in improper benefits from an agent who was also a Huskies booster.

The N.C.A.A. rebuked Calhoun, a Basketball Hall of Fame coach, for failure to monitor and promote an atmosphere for compliance and stated that he got away with it because the university “failed to monitor the conduct and administration of the men’s basketball program.”

UConn must also forfeit three men’s scholarships — one each through the 2012-13 season — and serve a three-year probation with restrictions on calls and contacts with recruits.

The committee on infractions stopped short of banning the Huskies from the N.C.A.A. tournament. UConn is 20-6, is ranked No. 14 and is on the verge of accepting its 17th trip to the tournament under Calhoun.

Dennis Thomas, the commissioner of the Mid-East Athletic Conference and the chairman of the Division I Committee on Infractions, said that because Calhoun and Connecticut had the right to appeal, it was impractical to suspend the coach for the postseason.

“We felt the penalties imposed on the head coach are adequate and fair to the allegations and penalties,” Thomas said. “The head coach should be aware, but, also in the same frame, the head coach obviously cannot be aware of everything that goes on within the program. However, the head coach bears that responsibility.”

Connecticut has 15 days to appeal.

“I am very disappointed with the N.C.A.A.’s decision in this case,” Calhoun said in a statement released by the university. “My lawyer and I are evaluating my options and will make a decision which way to proceed. In the meantime, I will not make any further statements about the case as our program prepares for what I hope will be an exciting and successful postseason.”

The infractions committee cited a substantial list of violations UConn committed in the recruitment of Miles by a former student manager, Josh Nochimson, who was a registered N.B.A. agent and helped guide Miles to UConn. Nochimson paid for part of Miles’s foot surgery, his tuition at a basketball academy and the registration fee for his SAT examination. He paid for strength, conditioning and basketball training.

“The men’s basketball staff was aware of the booster’s status as an agent and his relationship with the prospect,” the N.C.A.A. said in a written statement. “In fact, the coaches had frequent contact with the booster through approximately 2,000 phone calls or text with the agent throughout the recruitment process. Despite this regular contact, the men’s basketball coaching staff did not question the booster about his relationship with the prospect.”

Two members of last season’s staff — Beau Archibald, the director of basketball operations, and the assistant Patrick Sellers — were accused of lying to N.C.A.A. investigators during the probe and have lost their jobs. The Committee on Infractions also levied a two-year show-cause penalty for Archibald.

The report also quotes the Connecticut athletic director, Jeff A. Hathaway, saying it was the “most intense” he had ever seen Calhoun in his pursuit of a student-athlete. In his 25th season, Calhoun, 68, has won 595 games and 2 national titles at Connecticut. Last season, he signed a five-year, $13 million contract extension.

In response to the N.C.A.A. when the allegations first arose last year, UConn distanced Calhoun from involvement in the recruiting scandal, though he was accused of impermissibly providing UConn tickets in 2007 to high school coaches and individuals connected with recruits.

Miles enrolled at UConn in June 2008 but never played for the Huskies. He was expelled the next October after he was charged with violating a restraining order in a case involving a woman who said he assaulted her.

“The only thing I’ve ever told anyone is my program didn’t cheat,” Calhoun told The New York Times recently. “Everything they’ve accused us of would be secondary violation. They seem to think something was going on.”

Published by: nytimes


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