INDIANAPOLIS, INDIANA (February 22nd, 2016) -- In a press release that proclaimed the organization's commitment to "upholding the right of fair play" and "strong, unprecedented rulings", the NCAA Division I Committee on Infractions announced it has penalized three men's basketball programs with mostly worthless penalties.
Though most of the penalties take effect immediately, they will not directly impact each program's eligibility for post-season play, television revenues or other revenue streams, sources for each of the penalized programs confirmed to the Fake Press.
"It is a red-letter day for the NCAA," Committee on Infractions Chairman and Big-12 Commissioner Barry Switzer said in a videophone conference with members of the press Monday afternoon. "We chased them down, we got them red-handed, and we booked them good."
The penalized schools and their infractions are as follows:
* The University of Connecticut -- After a 28-month investigation, the NCAA COI ruled that Head Coach Jim Calhoun failed to "monitor and promote an atmosphere for compliance" and "engaged in unethical conduct" when he instructed his administrative staff to recruit now-junior guard Willie McGovernen. The NCAA complied conclusive evidence that Coach Calhoun personally instructed his director of operations to "spare no expense" in securing the commitment of McGovernen.
The UConn men's basketball program, who competed in the 2014 and 2015 Final Fours, was instructed by the NCAA to reduce their total number of scholarships from 13 to 12 for the next 3 years and can only contact recruits using FaceTime on their iPhones. Coach Calhoun himself will be limited in his coaching the first four games of the Huskies' schedule; he will be forced to turn his back from the court on the sideline and must promise not to look at the video screens while the game is in play.
* The University of Tennessee -- The NCAA COI ruled that Head Coach Bruce Pearl "engaged in unethical conduct" and "awarded improper recruiting inducements" when he invited several high-school athletes and their families to a week-long vacation at Disney World in Orlando, Florida. When pictures of the recruits and Pearl were reported 17 months ago, the NCAA interviewed Coach Pearl three times, with each interview ending with his denial of the trip.
Before the NCAA could serve it's Notice of Allegations to the school in December, the University of Tennessee allowed Coach Pearl to publicly admit his wrongdoing in a tearful, soft-lensed interview with ESPN's Andy Katz, which notably ended with Coach Pearl rending his garments and gnashing his teeth. The NCAA COI penalties prohibits Tennessee's basketball staff from visiting recruits on any other day than Tuesday; Coach Pearl himself is not allowed in a theme park for the remainder of his tenure as head coach. Two unnamed assistant coaches for Tennessee were banished to Russia.
* Indiana University -- The NCAA COI ruled that the athletic program and Head Coach Frank Martin "engaged in unethical conduct" and "engaged in immoral and unjust methods" due to the unorthodox training methods. The NCAA COI found that student-athletes were forced to engage in constant tests of strength and valor -- including wrestling bears and running a gauntlet where members of the student body threw chairs at the student-athletes.
The Indiana men's basketball program lost 3 total practice days and lost the right to use the specially-built Robert Montgomery Knight Athletic Center for student-athlete training. Coach Frank Martin is also prohibited from using "bad words and negative feeling words" towards his student-athletes.
"We think these penalties are fair, balanced and severe," Switzer said. "Those coaches and those teams won't be cheating no more." Spokesmen for all three sanctioned programs announced that each university planned to appeal the rulings.
The penalties are unprecedented in their lack of actual penalty, Billy Gillispie of the college athletics watch-group "Coaches For Kids" told the Fake Press. "[The penalties] just aren't tough enough," Gillispie said.
Meanwhile the NCAA Committee of Infractions refused to comment on the scandal swirling Duke freshman center/forward Damien Laettner. In multiple post-game interviews on regional and national television, Laettner implored Duke fans to mail him his "scholarship fund" because Duke Athletics "ain't paying me enough for this [expletive]". Bank records obtained by the New York Times and the Fake Press confirm that Laettner has cashed checks written directly to him by Duke boosters.
"We don't comment on either ongoing investigations or stuff we are just gonna ignore," Chairman Switzer said.
Copyright (c) 2016 by the Fake Press. Duplication or republication is prohibited by law.