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U.Va. Acknowledges Secondary Violations In Men's Basketball Program

Oct. 5, 1999 -- The National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) today announced that the University of Virginia has been reprimanded for several secondary violations involving the men's basketball program.

"We acknowledge that serious mistakes were made and that the responsibility for those mistakes rests, not merely with our former basketball coaches, but with officials at all levels of the Department of Athletics, myself included," Athletics Director M. Terry Holland wrote to the NCAA enforcement staff last Friday.

"We are pleased that the committee on infractions agreed that the violations that occurred . . . did not result from an effort to obtain an unfair competitive advantage," he said. "We have learned the lesson that vigilance, even over those who act with honorable intentions, is vital" in operating an athletics program fairly and in compliance with NCAA rules.

Sanctions imposed by the NCAA's infractions committee include the loss of a grant-in-aid in one of the next two years, fewer official visits to the University this year by prospective student-athletes, warnings to several "representatives of the University’s athletics interests," and more rigorous rules education for boosters and athletics department staff.

"Although this is a very serious case, it should be classified as secondary," a member of the NCAA enforcement staff wrote to Holland Sept. 2, noting that the more serious violations were isolated to one prospective student-athlete and resulted in only limited recruiting advantage because they occurred after the prospect had signed letters of intent with the University.

Violations cited by the infractions committee include improper housing arrangements, improper access to the team's locker facilities, improper benefits provided by representatives of the University's athletics interests, and failure by the University to monitor recruitment of the individual after he had signed letters of intent to assure compliance with NCAA regulations.

In addition, as the result of an internal University inquiry in 1998, U.Va. self-reported two other violations: improper contacts between a booster and four prospective student-athletes and the improper loan to three prospective athletes of workout clothes for pick-up basketball games that they were not required to return.

Since last spring, Holland and the University's associate athletics director for compliance, Lynn M. Mitchell, have taken steps to assure that such violations will not occur again, Holland said. Written policies have been issued that detail the requirements for complying with rules governing official and unofficial visits, housing and employment arrangements, and the use of facilities and equipment.

In addition, Holland has notified the coaching staff of a series of progressively severe sanctions he will impose for involvement in future secondary violations. These include ineligibility for pay increases for repeat violations and the loss of an athletic scholarship for a third or later violation.

"We shall do our very best to avoid any repetition of the current, or any similar, situation," Holland said.

Contact: Louise Dudley, (804) 924-1400 or Rich Murray (804) 982-5500

FOR ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: Please contact the Office of University Relations at (804) 924-7116. Television reporters should contact the TV News Office at (804) 924-7550.
SOURCE: U.Va. News Services


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