The University of Pittsburgh men’s basketball and football programs committed coaching violations, according to an agreement released by the Division I Committee on Infractions.
The university and NCAA enforcement staff agreed the former head men’s basketball coach instructed and allowed three noncoaching staff members to perform coaching duties, resulting in the program exceeding the number of permissible coaches. The agreement said the former men’s basketball coach developed an alert system to ensure noncoaching staff would not be caught on the practice floor coaching student-athletes. The former head coach also ordered the deletion of practice video in an apparent attempt to prevent the administration from confirming violations had occurred.
The former men’s basketball coach did not promote an atmosphere for compliance, according to the agreement. The former men’s basketball coach was involved directly in the violations, and he did not end the violations after being warned by athletics department administrators.
The agreement also said the men’s basketball program impermissibly produced personalized recruiting videos for 12 prospects to watch during their official or unofficial visits to campus.
The former director of basketball operations violated NCAA ethical conduct rules after his separation from the university when he refused to participate in an enforcement interview about his involvement in coaching activities as a noncoaching staff member.
According to the agreement, the head football coach instructed or was present at the practice facility when three former quality control staff members performed coaching duties, resulting in the program exceeding the allowable number of permissible coaches. The university conducted adequate spot checks of the program, but the agreement said the violations were undetected in part due to the program’s practice of playing music to indicate when outside parties were present at the practice facility. Football quality control staff members reported that they would make sure they were not near student-athletes when hearing the music.
The university, football coach and enforcement staff agreed the football coach did not promote an atmosphere for compliance when he asked one individual to assist and was present when three others performed coaching activities. Additionally, the agreement said the football coach did not monitor his staff when he did not prevent the violations from occurring.
This case was processed through the negotiated resolution process. The process was used instead of a formal hearing or summary disposition because the university, the head football coach and the enforcement staff agreed on the violations and the penalties. The former head basketball coach and former director of basketball operations did not participate in the processing of the case. The Division I Committee on Infractions reviewed the case to determine whether the resolution was in the best interests of the Association and whether the agreed-upon penalties were reasonable. Negotiated resolutions may not be appealed and do not set case precedent for other infractions cases.
The university and the enforcement staff used ranges identified by the Division I membership-approved infractions penalty guidelines to agree upon Level II-mitigated penalties for the university, Level II-aggravated for the former men’s basketball coach and Level I-aggravated for the former director of basketball operations. The head football coach agreed to Level II-standard penalties. Those and other penalties, approved by the Committee on Infractions, are detailed below:
Members of the Committee on Infractions are drawn from the NCAA membership and members of the public. The members of the panel who reviewed this case are William Bock III, general counsel for the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency and partner with Kroger, Gardis & Regas LLP law firm; Greg Christopher, chair of the Committee on Infractions and vice president for administration and athletics director at Xavier; and Sankar Suryanarayan, chief hearing officer for the panel and university counsel at Princeton.