GREELEY, Colo. – The National Collegiate Athletic Association’s enforcement staff has concluded its investigation into the men’s basketball program at the University of Northern Colorado and provided its written allegations of rule violations to the institution.
The NCAA started the investigation after UNC became aware of and self-reported potential violations last spring. UNC President Kay Norton and Athletics Director Darren Dunn issued a statement at the time and then last fall self-imposed penalties for the program based on the serious and concerning allegations of the violations that occurred.
“We immediately self-imposed penalties to demonstrate our commitment to ensuring the program’s integrity,” Norton said in an email sent to campus Feb. 13. “We also pledged that no matter what emerged from the investigation, UNC would not shy away from the facts — that we would take responsibility, do our best to make amends and move forward.”
Now that the investigative phase of the process is complete, Norton is following up on the university’s commitment to make the Notice of Allegations available.
Working collaboratively with the NCAA, UNC arrived at the same conclusions the NCAA reached and won’t contest the allegations contained in the notice, including allegations of academic misconduct related to coursework undertaken by students at other institutions before they enrolled at UNC.
“The NCAA rule violations are serious,” Norton said. “It is extremely unfortunate that the actions of our former coaches initially went undetected; however, the allegations do not charge that we lacked institutional control or failed to monitor our men’s basketball program.”
The NCAA noted that UNC’s actions “serve as a model for all NCAA member institutions concerning how to conduct an academic misconduct investigation.”
“Our cooperation is one of several ‘mitigating factors’ to be considered going forward,” Norton said.
“I’m extremely proud of how our athletic department and university responded,” Dunn said. We’ve taken significant steps to address and handle these allegations in an appropriate and responsible manner. Our department expects compliance with NCAA rules, and we communicate this expectation regularly.”
The independent Committee on Infractions will review the Notice of Allegations and the responses from those involved in the case, set a date for a hearing, and then respond with the NCAA’s final decision. That likely won’t happen until the fall.
“It is our hope that the Committee on Infractions will endorse the penalties we self-imposed last October in order to allow our men’s basketball program to begin focusing on healing and recovery. We are well positioned to move forward under the leadership of Head Coach Jeff Linder.”
Timeline of Process
April 21 — UNC self-reports to the NCAA potential violations of men’s basketball program.
Oct. 7 — UNC announces self-imposed penalties that include a postseason ban for the program this season, financial penalties, and restrictions on recruiting and future financial aid awards in the program.
Feb. 10 — NCAA concludes investigation and provides written Notice of Allegations to UNC.
February-May: The university and others involved in the case will prepare and file responses to the Notice of Allegations.
Summer 2017 (anticipated): The university, enforcement staff, and others involved will attend a scheduled hearing with the Committee on Infractions to review the case.
Fall 2017 (anticipated): The Committee on Infractions will issue a decision containing its findings.