NCAA Men's Basketball

Baylor teams facing possible NCAA sanctions

04/10 12:16 PM

The men's and women's basketball programs at Baylor University are facing possible NCAA sanctions following an investigation that uncovered more than 1,200 impermissible phone calls and text messages during a 29-month span.

The men's and women's basketball programs at Baylor University are facing possible NCAA sanctions following an investigation that uncovered more than 1,200 impermissible phone calls and text messages during a 29-month span.

Men's coach Scott Drew, women's coach Kim Mulkey and their assistants were involved in the impermissible phone calls and texts. ESPN.com obtained a copy of the summary disposition, which was produced by the NCAA enforcement staff and Baylor.

Baylor has already self-imposed a number of penalties as a result of the NCAA enforcement staff's probe, which began in 2008 with the recruiting of women's basketball star Brittney Griner. The NCAA enforcement committee sent a summary of its findings to Baylor in October and the committee on infractions could announce as early as this week whether additional penalties will be levied.

Baylor acknowledged the investigation in a statement released Monday afternoon and said it "remains committed to protecting the integrity of the totality of the case in accordance with its obligations under NCAA legislation and therefore the University, and its officials, will make no comment."

The 66-page report documented a handful of secondary violations against a number of the school's programs, but it focused on the phone calls and texts. The NCAA enforcement staff labeled the improprieties as "major violations," mainly because of the frequency with which they occurred.

Combined, the men's and women's basketball programs sent 738 impermissible text messages and made 528 impermissible calls over a span of nearly 2.5 years.

The probe also determined that former men's assistant Mark Morefield committed a major violation when he attempted to influence two AAU coaches to furnish the NCAA with false and misleading information regarding a series of text messages. Morefield resigned in July 2011.

The report concluded that Drew demonstrated a "failure to monitor" the activities of two of his assistant coaches and that there also was an overall "failure to monitor" by the institution, which found 405 additional impermissible calls and text messages from nine different sports, ranging from football to the equestrian program, from January to July 2011, during its investigation.

Men's assistant basketball coaches Paul Mills and Jerome Tang also were named in the report along with women's basketball assistant coach Damion McKinney.

"We can't get into details regarding this matter because it is still under review. However, each member agrees to abide by the rules established by the Association and our membership expects those who do not follow the rules will be held accountable," NCAA president Mark Emmert said in a statement given to ESPN.com in response to Baylor's self-report.

According to the report, all of the coaches -- including Drew and Mulkey -- have acknowledged their involvement in the respective findings and are at risk for a show-cause penalty, which means any penalties will remain on record regardless of where they coach. Schools wishing to hire them would have to "show cause" as to why they shouldn't inherit the penalties. However, considering that most of the impermissible calls were made by their assistants, it appears unlikely that Drew or Mulkey would be slapped with a show-cause penalty.

Each head coach, however, could face further penalties from the committee on infractions and each is dealing with a handful of penalties that were self-imposed by Baylor. Among them:

• Mulkey -- whose 2011-12 squad went 40-0 and won the NCAA title -- will be prohibited from recruiting off-campus for the entire summer recruiting period (July 1-31).

• McKinney hasn't been allowed to make recruiting calls to prospective student-athletes since Jan. 1. The ban will be lifted on May 1.

• Baylor's women's basketball program lost two of its 15 scholarships in 2011-12.

• Baylor's men's program lost one scholarship for both the 2011-12 and 2012-13 seasons.

• Drew and Tang were prohibited from making recruiting calls from Jan. 1 to Feb. 29 of this year.

• The maximum number of official visits allowed to the men's basketball team in 2012-13 was reduced from 12 to seven.

Drew has been told he has the support of athletic director Ian McCaw and president Kenneth Starr, a source with direct knowledge told ESPN.com's Andy Katz. The source said that Drew isn't expecting any further penalty by the school, although the NCAA can obviously tack on additional penalties.

Recently, schools have put in self-imposed game suspensions. Central Florida suspended coach Donnie Jones for the first three Conference USA games this past season for rules violations.

A prominent women's basketball source told ESPN.com on Monday that taking Mulkey off the road recruiting this summer "isn't a big deal since assistants do most of the legwork. But it's more symbolic than anything else and it's the stigma that's worse since they got caught."

The NCAA committee on infractions could accept Baylor's penalties and close the case, or tack on additional penalties, such as a further reduction of scholarships or the suspension of Drew and/or Mulkey for a certain number of games next season. In one case, then-Indiana coach Kelvin Sampson was prohibited from calling recruits and making off-campus visits for a year for making 577 impermissible phone calls while he was Oklahoma's coach.

The NCAA's probe of Baylor began in October 2008, when women's basketball player of the year Griner, then a high school senior, and her father, Ray, reported information concerning their contacts with members of the women's basketball staff that were potentially impermissible.

Griner and her father provided the information during an interview with the NCAA enforcement staff in conjunction with the NCAA Top Prospect Program. The now-defunct program required staff members to interview top high school girls' and boys' basketball and football players in the nation.

Two months later, during an interview with men's high school standout Shawn Williams Jr., it was reported that members of Baylor's men's basketball staff had contacted Williams and his father beyond the permissible number of calls. The player signed with Texas and later transferred to SMU.

As a result of those interviews, the NCAA staff requested a variety of information from Baylor, including telephone records of the men's and women's basketball staffs. Subsequently, potential violations involving impermissible calls and texts were identified.

Most of the impermissible calls and texts were made by the men's staff in 2007 and 2008. According to the report, Drew told enforcement officials that most of the errors occurred either because of poor communication between him and his assistants regarding what calls had been made during a certain day or week, or because of the failure to keep a log of those calls.

Also at issue was Baylor's use of Teleflip, a conversion software program that enables someone to send an email from their phone to the cell phone of a prospect, coach or parent. Baylor's coaches said a former Baylor compliance officer provided erroneous information that those messages didn't count as texts.

Although most of the impermissible contact was made in 2007 and 2008, the report also indicated similar calls and texts were sent by Morefield in July 2010. Morefield sent the texts to nonscholastic coaches (i.e. summer-league coaches) during a time period when contact was prohibited.

Morefield said he didn't realize the texts were impermissible.

The report also indicated that, in 2007, four men associated with recruiting services were paid between $200 and $500 to cover Drew's elite camp, where they were charged with selecting the camp's all-star team and evaluating each of the prospects. The practice violated NCAA rules, and the failure of Baylor's compliance office to monitor the camp was noted in the report. Baylor punished itself by canceling its elite men's camp in 2008, 2009, 2010 and 2011.

Impermissible contact between Mulkey and Griner is among the secondary violations detailed in the report. During Baylor's 2007 women's basketball elite camp, members of the coaching staff spoke with the Griners about the basketball program, academic requirements and the school in general both before and after the camp -- a violation of NCAA rules.

Also, during the spring and summer of 2008, Mulkey had impermissible contact with Griner's father when the coach and parent sat by one another at various AAU games and discussed what Brittney's experience would be like at Baylor. Brittney Griner played on the same AAU squad as Mulkey's daughter, Makenzie Robertson. Brittney Griner and Robertson are currently teammates at Baylor.

The NCAA enforcement committee's report on Baylor and the possibility of further penalties come in the midst of what is arguably the greatest period in the school's athletic history.

The football team's 10-3 season was capped off by quarterback Robert Griffin III winning the Heisman Trophy. The men's basketball squad won a school-record 30 games and reached the Elite Eight of the NCAA tournament and, with Wooden Award winner Griner leading the way, the Lady Bears became the first men's or women's team in history to go 40-0.

The combined 80 wins among the football, men's basketball and women's basketball teams are the most in NCAA history.

ESPN.com's Andy Katz contributed to this report.


Advertisement

Wireless

Keep informed or win a prize

Newsletters
Contest & Promotions
Advertisement