ASU Baseball accused of major NCAA violations

AZ Republic LINK

I think we know why Pat Murphy was fired now....

Even the dreaded "lack of institutional control" phrase is dropped. This could get ugly -- and not just for the baseball program.

A portion of the notice obtained by The Republic shows that ASU is being accused of at least nine violations. A key one is that the university lacks "institutional control."

"It is alleged that the institution violated the principles of institutional control in that it failed to ensure adequate systems to monitor for compliance and provide adequate NCAA rules education involving the baseball program and student athletes," the NCAA stated on Page 15 of its notice.

The notice refers to infractions involving telephone-recruiting violations, impermissible coaching activities, employment of student athletes and relationships with outside contractors. The partial report contained few details.

ASU President Michael Crow and Lisa Love, vice president for athletics, declined to comment on the allegations.

"ASU is working with the NCAA on an investigation of the university's baseball program involving allegations of infractions of NCAA legislation," ASU spokesman Virgil Renzulli said in an e-mail Wednesday.

"This is an ongoing process, and we do not currently have an estimate for the completion of the effort and the release of results," Renzulli wrote.

Murphy also declined to comment on the allegations, on the advice of his attorneys.

"It is very frustrating that I am unable to set the record straight and state my side of the story," he said Wednesday.

If the NCAA finds a major violation occurred, it would be ASU's ninth such case since 1953, more than any other school in the country. ASU is now tied for violations with Southern Methodist University in Texas, which was given the "death penalty" by the NCAA in the 1980s when it banned the football program from competing for three years.

In November 2005, the NCAA put ASU on two years of probation for a lack of institutional control and impermissible financial aid. That case involved former football player Loren Wade receiving improper benefits from an athletic-department employee.

The NCAA also found that 61 athletes received impermissible financial aid from 2002 to 2004 and that athletes were improperly given books to sell for personal gain.

Penalties for a repeat case of lack of institutional control could include a prohibition of competition, including some or all postseason games. Penalties also could result in elimination of scholarships and recruiting restrictions in baseball.

Outside of baseball, the university could face multiyear probation, suspension or termination of staff and ASU officials being banned from NCAA leadership positions for up to four years.

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