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NCAA Gives Baylor Probation, Accepts School's Self-Imposed Penalties

Steven Covelman |
April 11, 2012 | 3:46 p.m. PDT

Staff Writer

Brittney Griner (#42, gray) was one of the Baylor players improperly contacted by coaches. (Han Shot First/Creative Commons)
Brittney Griner (#42, gray) was one of the Baylor players improperly contacted by coaches. (Han Shot First/Creative Commons)
After a three-year investigation into hundreds of impermissible telephone calls and text messages by basketball coaches from Baylor University to recruits, the NCAA has accepted the school's self-imposed penalties as an acceptable punishment.

Both the men's and women's basketball programs will be placed on three years probation for what the NCAA considers to be major infractions.

The NCAA said men's basketball coach Scott Drew failed to monitor his program and will be suspended for two Big 12 games next season for his actions. Additionally, recruiting restrictions will be imposed on his team through the 2012-2013 season.

Women's coach Kim Mulkey and her staff also received recruiting restrictions for their role in the violations.  Last week Mulkey and her Lady Bears team finished off a perfect 40-0 to win a National Championship behind the play of star center Brittney Griner. It was the program's second national title in the last decade.

Baylor's self imposed penalties include the following:

  • Mulkey will be prevented from recruiting off campus for the summer recruiting period, which lasts from July 1 to July 31.  
  • The women's program lost two of its 15 scholarship this past season.
  • The men's program lost one scholarship this past season and will lose another scholarship for the 2012-2013 season. 
  • The maximum number of official visits allowed to the men's basketball program has been reduced for the 2012-2013 season from 12 to seven.  
  • Lady Bears assistant coach Damion McKinney has been prohibited from calling recruits since Jan. 1.  The ban will be lifted May 1. 
  • Men's assistant basketball coaches Paul Mills and Jerome Tang were prohibited from calling recruits from Jan. 1 to Feb. 29 of this year.

No additional penalties, besides those listed, will be imposed by the NCAA.

Over the span of two and a half years, the men's and women's basketball programs sent a combined 738 impermissible texts and 528 impermissible calls to potential student athletes, according to an NCAA review. Former men's assistant Mark Morefield committed a major NCAA violation when he tried to influence two AAU coaches into giving NCAA investigators misleading information regarding a series of text messages. Morefield resigned from his position in 2011.

In addition to Drew's failure to monitor his own program, the NCAA found that the university neglected to control nine other Baylor sports, including the football program.

"As head coach, I take full responsibility for these mistakes and am disappointed that we have failed to uphold both the NCAA's and Baylor's expectations of documenting phone calls and recruiting communications," said Drew in a statement. "The procedures have been corrected through a new software tracking system, which should prevent this from ever happening again."

The majority of the impermissible texts and calls were sent by the men's basketball staff in 2007 and 2008. According to the NCAA's findings, Drew told investigators that most of the violations were a result of poor communication with his assistant coaches.  

The NCAA's investigation began in October 2008, when Griner, then a senior in high school, and her father, reported information regarding improper contact with the women's basketball staff. Two months later, in an interview with recruit Shawn William Jr., the NCAA discovered that the men's team had contacted Williams beyond the permissible amount of calls.

Following these interviews, the NCAA requested information from Baylor, including the telephone records that resulted in discovery of the violations.



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