Recruiting Violations. Who wasn’t able to play in March Madness this year?
Syracuse is enjoying a Cinderella-type run to the Final Four this year, but last year they were not eligible to participate in March Madness due to a self-imposed postseason ban.
The Orange, who were under an NCAA investigation, elected to punish themselves rather than wait for the NCAA to hand down a ruling. This year, Louisville, a legitimate national championship contender, has followed suit by self-imposing a postseason ban amid an NCAA probe. In addition to the Cardinals, five other schools, SMU, Cal State, Missouri, Southern Miss and Pacific, are banned from postseason play.
Here’s the list of banned schools and violations:
Louisville: Banned from March Madness
Instead of competing as a likely No. 3 seed in March Madness, the Cardinals are voluntarily sitting out of the NCAA Tournament amid salacious allegations. A former Louisville assistant allegedly paid dancers and escorts to entertain players recruits on visits from 2010-2014. The NCAA investigation is still on-going and there’s a possibility that Louisville could face more discipline if these allegations are found to be true.
SMU: Banned from March Madness
In September 2015 the NCAA ruled that SMU would not be eligible to participate in the postseason and suspended head coach Larry Brown for almost a third of the season. The NCAA found evidence that a former SMU assistant completed an online course for a student-athlete in order to maintain his eligibility. Brown had previously faced major rules violations when he was coaching both UCLA and Kansas.
Cal State: Self-imposed Ban from March Madness
Cal State, which was probably not going make a postseason tournament with a losing record, disqualified itself in light of allegations of academic fraud. The Matadors’ self-imposed penalty came after an internal investigation of several players and an assistant coach. The NCAA has not concluded its review and could pursue further punishment for Cal State.
Missouri: Self-Imposed Ban from Mach Madness
The Tigers conducted a collaborative investigation with the NCAA, finding several rules violations which led to a self-imposed postseason ban. The violations included impermissible benefits from donors, illegal contact with recruits, failure to monitor an internship program and a former coach’s handling of prospective student’s housing.
Southern Miss: Self-Imposed Ban from March Madness
For the second consecutive season, the Golden Eagles are not eligible for the postseason due to a self-imposed ban. The violations occurred under former coach Donnie Tyndall’s and included illegal benefits for players, academic fraud and obstruction of the NCAA’s investigation.
Pacific: Self-Imposed Ban from March Madness
After a cooperative investigation with the NCAA into academic fraud, Pacific decided to self-impose a postseason ban and cut six scholarships over the next three years. The Boxers were found guilty of Level I violations, the most serious NCAA rule infractions.