The NCAA has penalized the SMU men’s basketball program for several violations, including academic fraud and illegal management, a Division I Committee on Infractions panel has ruled, according to ESPN.
The penalties will keep SMU banned from the 2016 postseason. SMU head coach Larry Brown, who was named for a lack of coaching discipline, has been suspended for 9 games during the upcoming season.This is SMU’s 10th major infraction case, more than that of any other program. Over the next three years, the basketball team will lose nine scholarships. SMU will also be placed on three years probation, reported ESPN.
“While we accept responsibility for violations, the individuals responsible for the infractions have been held accountable both by the University and by the Committee on Infractions,” the school said in a statement. “To punish the student-athletes in the men’s basketball [program] by prohibiting a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to compete in the postseason is simply wrong. It is not what our system of governance should be about and we are considering our response.”
The NCAA also found out that SMU’s coach Larry Brown was told by former McDonald’s All American Keith Frazier and the administrator that he has completed an online course “that led to the student-athlete obtaining fraudulent academic credit.” Brown did not report this information to his compliance staff, his athletic director, his school president, his conference office or the NCAA, reported USA Today.
SMU has 15 days to appeal the NCAA’s conclusion. The Mustangs who won the American Athletic Conference tournament before losing in the NCAA’s tournament first round, are inferred to be a top 25 team entering the season, as reported by The Washington Post.