Baylor Faces Sanctions for NCAA Violations

The following article was written by Spencer Wingate.

Baylor University announced Monday that it has been involved in a three year investigation by the NCAA for impermissible contact with potential prospects. ESPN cited an NCAA summary disposition that shows coaches for both the men’s and women’s basketball programs made more than 1,200 prohibited phone calls and text messages over a twenty-nine month span. The frequency of the calls and messages makes the infractions a major violation. The sixty-six page report sent to Baylor in October 2011 by the NCAA, notes a total of nine sports that committed secondary violations. Additionally, former men’s basketball assistant coach Mark Morefield, who resigned in July 2011, committed a major violation. Morefield urged two AAU coaches to provide erroneous information to the NCAA about a series of text messages. Men’s head basketball coach Scott Drew was not directly involved in the incident according to the report. However, it does cite that Drew failed to correctly monitor the incident.

The NCAA began an investigation into Baylor’s athletic program in October 2008 due to the recruitment of current women’s basketball star Brittney Griner. The NCAA investigation revealed that over nearly a 2½ month span, the Baylor men’s and women’s basketball programs combined to send 738 impermissible text messages along with making 528 impermissible phone calls. The NCAA’s report additionally notes 405 impermissible calls and texts from other sports included the football team from January to July 2011. The majority of the basketball violations occurred from 2007 to 2008. According to Drew, rules were broken due to poor communication and incorrect logging of calls. Baylor has already self-imposed several penalties ranging from limiting scholarships, recruiting calls, and the number of official visits allowed. The NCAA still considers the case under review and could impose harsher penalties. Thus far the NCAA has not commented on the case, nor made a final decision regarding the infractions.

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