Thursday , Aug , 05 , 2004 C.Y. Ellis

NCAA gives Georgia four years’ probation

Indianapolis, IN (Sports Network) – The University of Georgia was placed on
four years’ probation Thursday for NCAA rules violations committed within the
men’s basketball program, including unethical conduct, academic fraud and
illegal recruiting benefits.

The NCAA Division I Committee on Infractions, however, did not impose any
further post-season bans after the school pulled itself out of both the SEC
and NCAA Tournaments following the 2002-03 campaign.

Beginning with the 2005-06 academic year, the basketball program will also
lose one scholarship per year for three years. The school also must forfeit
its back-to-back 30-win seasons in 2001-02 and 2002-03 as well lose credit for
its participation in the 2002 NCAA Tournament.

Georgia athletic director Damon Evans still deemed the penalties excessive in
light of the school’s self-imposed sanctions, and said the university plans an
appeal in hopes of reducing the penalties.

“Because of…the cooperation the university has exhibited throughout the
investigation process, it is our opinion that four years’ probation and the
scholarship reductions are excessive,” Evans said.

The misconduct occurred under former head coach Jim Harrick and his son,
assistant coach Jim Harrick Jr., who both are no longer with the program.

Harrick Sr. was suspended by the school on March 10, 2003 amid allegations of
impropriety and he resigned 17 days later, entering into retirement.

The younger Harrick was fired a few weeks earlier after allegations of
academic fraud in a class he taught called “Coaching Principles and Strategies
of Basketball.”

The rules committee found that Harrick Jr. fraudulently issued grades of “A”
to three of his players in addition to a separate recruiting violation. It was
concluded by the committee that in 2001, Harrick Jr. provided $300 to a
recruit, who later enrolled at the university.

Harrick Jr.’s repeated violations particularly concerned the committee, which
noted, “the number and range of instances of unethical conduct in which the
assistant coach engaged. In this regard, the committee could recall few, if
any, instances in which three separate and substantively different findings of
unethical conduct were made against one individual.”

If Harrick Jr. wishes to gain any athletically-related employment in the next
seven years at any NCAA member institution, he must be granted permission to
do so by the committee.