Head coach Linder focused on the future
University of Northern Colorado president Kay Norton sent out an email to the entire campus Monday afternoon detailing the NCAA allegations against former men’s basketball coaches.
Last spring the university received information that the men’s basketball program under B.J. Hill had violated several NCAA rules and regulations. Not much information could be released to the public until the investigation completed on February 10.
Norton’s email explained the process of the investigation and a 21-page document describing the allegations against the university was attached.
The investigation revealed nine allegations against former coaches of the men’s basketball team. One violation was a level one, the most serious type, and the other a level two.
There were three categories that the violations fell under were academic misconduct, improper financial inducements and ethical violations involving dishonesty during the investigation.
Immediately after learning of the violations, the university self-imposed several punishments on the program.
The punishments include a postseason ban for the current basketball season, a financial penalty of $5000 plus two percent of the program’s budget, a reduction of three financial aid awards provided to the athletes until the 2018-2019 academic year and recruiting restrictions until the 2018-2019 academic year.
Despite the investigation and the self-imposed punishment, new coach Jeff Linder has a positive outlook on the current season.
“All things considered, we have focused on building habits to compete next year,” said Linder. “We are laying a foundation.”
The men’s basketball team is 9-17 on the season with only three games left. In those three games, Linder plans to continue to build winning habits and working on taking open shots.
Seeing as the team can’t play postseason basketball, Linder wants the team to watch how the last few opponents prepare for a game and how those teams act to become the best team.
An NCAA investigation is a long process, but the men’s basketball team has not let it have an effect on the season.
Linder said the guys had an understanding that the investigation would be going on, but that they could not control it, so they wouldn’t let it change anything. Linder wanted to coach the best he could and have his guys play the best they could.
Now that the allegations have been released and the swirling rumors around the program can calm down, the program can heal.
The investigation has completed, but the NCAA Committee on Infractions that operates separately from the NCAA, will meet to determine the final penalties against the program.
“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,” said Norton in her campus-wide email.
UNC has fully cooperated with the NCAA throughout the process and self-imposed penalties almost immediately after learning of the violations. For those reasons, the NCAA complimented the university stating that the university should serve as a model for others.
The men’s basketball team has three games left this season and each one is a home game. The next game is Saturday February 25 at 7 p.m. against the North Dakota Fighting Hawks.
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