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AUDIO:NCAA Sanctions Tyndall for Academic Fraud During Time at USM

HATTIESBURG, MISS– The National Collegiate Athletic Association has outlined the punishments for both Southern Miss and former USM Men’s Basketball coach Donnie Tyndall. 

The NCAA says Tyndall committed academic fraud by having his graduate assistants complete junior college coursework for potential players, so they would eligible. Tyndall is also accused of attempting to destroy evidence of this happening, and of paying the athletes.

“The former head coach directed members of his staff to complete fraudulent coursework for seven prospects so they could be immediately eligible to compete,” says the NCAA in a statement, “The activity began within six weeks of the former head coach starting at the university, involved the majority of the former coach’s staff and involved approximately half of the prospects the university recruited during a two-year period. The former head coach directed two graduate assistants and a former assistant coach to travel to two-year colleges to complete coursework for prospects.”

Here are the punishments:

  • A three-year probation period to run consecutive to the present probation period. The three-year period will begin on Jan. 30, 2017, and run through Jan. 29, 2020.
  • A two-year postseason ban for the men’s basketball team. The school will be credited for the self-imposed postseason bans during the 2014-15 and 2015-16 seasons.
  •  A 10-year show-cause order for the former head coach from April 8, 2016, through April 7, 2026. During that period, if the former head coach is employed by an NCAA school, he must be suspended by the employing school from all coaching duties. Following that period, any NCAA school that hires the former head coach must suspend him for the first 50 percent of the first season he is employed.
  • A six-year show-cause order for the graduate assistant who completed online assignments for prospects and did not appear at the hearing. The period will run from April 8, 2016, through April 7, 2022. Any NCAA school employing the graduate assistant during that time must appear with him before a Committee on Infractions panel.
  • A seven-year show-cause order for the graduate assistant who completed online assignments for prospects and refused to cooperate with the investigation. The period will run from April 8, 2016, through April 7, 2023. Any NCAA school employing the graduate assistant during that time must appear with him before a Committee on Infractions panel.
  • A two-year show-cause order for a prospect’s prep school coach because he was employed at an NCAA school during the investigation. The period will run from April 8, 2016, through April 7, 2018. During this period, if he is employed by an NCAA school, the former prep school coach must attend an NCAA Regional Rules Seminar each year and meet monthly with the compliance officer to review recruiting and coaching activities. Also, the school must file reports with the Office of the Committees on Infractions every six months detailing the coach’s activities.
  • An eight-year show-cause order for the former associate head coach from April 8, 2016, through April 7, 2024. Any NCAA school employing the former associate head coach during that time must appear with him before a Committee on Infractions panel.
  • A vacation of wins in which the men’s basketball student-athletes participated while ineligible. The university will identify the games impacted following the release of the public report.
  • A reduction of five men’s basketball scholarships over the next three years. The program reduced scholarships by one during the 2014-15 season and must reduce scholarships by a total of four over the next three years (self-imposed by the university).
  • A $5,000 fine plus an amount equal to 1 percent of the average total budget for the men’s basketball team over the previous three years (self-imposed by the university).

USM self-imposed the following recruiting restrictions:

  • A reduction in the number of men’s basketball official visits during the 2015-16 season by three.
  • A prohibition from hosting any unofficial visits for a period of 10 weeks before the beginning of the fall 2016 semester.
  • A restriction in recruiting communications with prospects by 10 weeks before the beginning of the fall 2016 semester.
  • A reduction in men’s basketball off-campus recruiting days during the 2015-16 season by 25.

 

Southern Miss Head Men’s Basketball Coach Doc Sadler said “I want to thank our administration and our fans for being supportive of our basketball program and players during the last two years. Most importantly, I want to thank our players for having a tremendous work ethic and outstanding attitude during these difficult times. As a result of some of the penalties imposed, we will face some challenges in the near future. However, because of our great fan support and our players’ commitment, I am very excited about the future and our ability to return our program to a championship level.”

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