The University of Missouri announced a self-imposed, one-year postseason ban for the men’s basketball program stemming from NCAA violations from 2011-14 in a press release on Wednesday. The Tigers will not participate in 2015-16 postseason play, including the 2016 SEC Men’s Basketball Tournament.
The five violations occurred between 2011-14 under former men’s basketball coach Frank Haith. The university announced it self-imposed a loss of one scholarship for the 2015 basketball season and will remove another scholarship no later than the 2017 season. Missouri will also vacate all victories from its 23-12 season in 2013 and pay a $5,000 fine to the NCAA.
“We are obviously very disappointed that the actions of a few individuals have put our program in this situation,” second-year coach Kim Anderson said in a statement. “I hurt for our kids more than anything and for our only senior Ryan Rosburg in particular, but I am confident we will overcome this and be stronger as a team and as a staff because of it.”
Missouri was given a Level I violation after the NCAA learned a university donor had offered impermissible benefits to three student-athletes and a prospective student-athlete from 2013-14. According to the release, the student-athletes received compensation for work they had not done as part of a summer internship organized by the donor. The university also said the donor gave the players housing, $520 in cash, transportation, iPads, meals and provided a gym for the athletes to use.
The NCAA handed down a Level III violation because the same donor had impermissible recruiting contacts with a prospective student-athlete, according to the release. The school received a Level II violation for not properly vetting the summer internship.
The university also received a Level II violation after a different donor offered 11 student-athletes and members of a student-athlete’s family impermissible benefits from 2011-14, the release stated. These benefits included a reduced rate at a hotel, meals and a ride on a recreational boat. A student manager was also cited for providing transportation for the student-athletes to the hotel from campus.
The final violation was a Level III variety after a former coach helped in the relocation of a prospective student-athlete by providing the student-athlete’s mother with a phone number to contact the second donor for housing, the release stated.
“We have already taken many proactive steps to address concerns, including appropriate self-imposed sanctions,” Missouri athletic director Mack Rhoades said in the statement. “We will win at Mizzou and do so with integrity and class. I am satisfied the University fully cooperated with the NCAA and will continue to do so. We must do better and we will.”
Haith served as Missouri’s coach for three seasons from 2011-14 and led the Tigers to two NCAA Tournament appearances, including a 30-5 record during his first season. He mysteriously left Columbia, Mo. to take the head coaching job at Tulsa four days after the NCAA notified Missouri of its inquiry.