INDIANAPOLIS - The NCAA banned new Indiana coach Kelvin Sampson from calling recruits and visiting them off-campus for one year on Thursday, ruling he deliberately broke its rules by making extra phone calls to potential players while coaching Oklahoma.
The decision, announced by the committee on infractions, also requires Indiana to adopt the restrictions Oklahoma placed on Sampson, where he coached before Indiana hired him earlier this year.
“This case is a result of the former head coach’s complete disregard for NCAA guidelines for proper telephone contacts with recruits,” infractions committee chairman Thomas Yeager said in a written statement. “The former head coach created and encouraged an atmosphere among his staff of deliberate noncompliance, rationalizing the violations as being a result of ’prioritizing’ rules.”
The contract Sampson signed with Indiana on April 20 says the school “may take further action, up to and including termination” if the NCAA “imposes more significant penalties or sanctions than the University of Oklahoma’s self-imposed sanctions.”
It was not immediately clear if the Hoosiers would fire Sampson, who was in Kuwait and unavailable for comment. A message was left on the cell phone of Michael Glazier, Sampson’s attorney.
Oklahoma athletic director Joe Castiglione said the university would not appeal any of the infractions committee’s findings.
“Obviously, we anticipated some type of sanction, and this one seems to fit these minor infractions,” Indiana trustee Patrick Shoulders said.
It also was not clear whether the Hoosiers would face a scholarship loss, one of the sanctions Oklahoma imposed.
The committee used strong language in its ruling, calling Sampson’s actions “deliberate noncompliance,” “willful violations” and found it “troubling” that he was the president of the National Association of Basketball Coaches when the infractions occurred.
The committee also determined extra calls gave Oklahoma a significant recruiting advantage since five players actually decided to attend the school.
Sampson has acknowledged making “mistakes.”
“At a time when the NABC identified impermissible phone contact as a serious issue, and the organization was calling on its membership to be accountable, the former head coach and his staff were engaged in a pattern of willful and significant recruiting violations,” the committee said.
Yeager’s committee heard the case April 21 in Salt Lake City, where Sampson testified.
Oklahoma, which escaped major sanctions from the NCAA inquiry, had also frozen Sampson’s salary at $1.01 million in 2005-06 and 2006-07 and prohibited him from receiving performance bonuses.
The nation grieved for those hurt, killed and affected by the Boston Marathon bombings. After one of the suspects was caught on Friday — following a day-long lockdown and manhunt — sports returned to Boston over the weekend.
The Hoosiers have not been found guilty of a major violation since 1960.
The NCAA extended Oklahoma’s self-imposed probation for an additional 11 months and issued a public reprimand and censure but otherwise accepted the university’s self-imposed sanctions, which included reductions in scholarships, recruiting calls and trips and visits to the school by prospective recruits.
The infractions committee instituted a two-year probation ending on May 24, 2008. The university’s self-imposed probation was to end on June 30, 2007.
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