Utah men’s basketball program receives 2-years probation because of recruiting violations

USA Utah News

The Utah men’s basketball program will be on probation for two years after the NCAA found a number of recruiting violations dating back to April 2018.

After an investigation, the committee of infractions found that the program committed two Level II violations and one Level III violation, the organization announced Tuesday.

The violations range from misapplied recruiting rules, off-campus recruiting activities during quiet hours and coordinating with a local community college program, believed to be spearheaded by associate head coach Tommy Connor.

The report read, in part:

“According to the committee, an assistant coach misapplied recruiting rules and believed off-campus recruiting activities were allowed during a quiet period. Acting on the misunderstanding, the committee said the assistant coach conducted an evaluation of a recruit at a community college, and the full men’s basketball coaching staff visited a second recruit at his high school during the quiet period.

“The committee found that the associate head coach coordinated with a local community college’s men’s basketball head coach to get the high school prospect to the university’s campus for a visit. The community college paid for the prospect to visit the community college. While the prospect was in the area, he also visited the Utah campus, according to the committee.”

According to the school, these violations occurred after “a misreading of the NCAA calendar” in the spring of 2018, the Salt Lake Tribune reported.

“You can’t run from the fact that there were NCAA violations committed here,” Utah athletic director Mark Harlan said in an interview. “But again, there’s a big difference between inadvertent mistakes and perhaps some of the other things we’ve seen in the country.”

However inadvertent the actions were, a number of penalties will now be enforced, including:

  • Two years of probation
  • A $5,000 fine (self-imposed by the university)
  • Recruiting restrictions, including a three-week ban on men’s basketball unofficial visits and a reduction in the number of men’s basketball official visits by two

Along with the team’s probation, Connor was given a one-year show-cause penalty and will be banned from off-campus recruiting during the month of July.

In addition to Connor’s penalties, the entire coaching staff received a Level II violation and head coach Larry Krystkowiak received a separate Level II violation (due to the head coach responsibility bylaws).

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