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Archive for Thursday, July 31, 2003

Utah placed on probation

Utes’ football, basketball not banned from postseason

July 31, 2003

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— Utah's athletic program was placed on three years' probation by the NCAA on Wednesday for rules violations that included excessive meal money for men's basketball players and academic fraud on the football team.

The Utes may still participate in postseason tournaments and no restrictions were placed on TV appearances.

The NCAA Committee on Infractions announced the punishment after a two-year investigation of a university review.

Infractions committee chairman Tom Yeager said the violations were relatively minor and did not warrant more serious penalties.

"These were not five-course steak meals at the finest restaurant in town," Yeager said. "This case may sound a lot worse when you actually hear all the details and all the nuances," he added.

University President Bernie Machen said at a news conference the school accepts its punishment.

The NCAA accepted the university's self-imposed sanctions, including cutting one men's basketball scholarship for the 2004-05 and 2005-06 seasons, and added one scholarship penalty for 2006-07.

The committee found a "lack of institutional control," noting the basketball staff "failed to foster an environment of compliance."

The NCAA said the length of daily and weekly practices by the basketball team went beyond what the organization allows.

The report said basketball coach Rick Majerus told the NCAA he thought meals he bought for players were allowed because he lives in a hotel near the university. Coaches are allowed to host athletes for home meals.

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