BUFFALO, NY – On April 21, 2020, the NCAA announced the conclusion of a negotiated resolution process with the University at Buffalo regarding infractions committed during summer and early fall of 2019.
On October 2, 2019, the University at Buffalo self-reported an NCAA infraction involving a former men’s basketball assistant coach. For the past several months, university officials and the Athletics Compliance office have worked jointly with NCAA Enforcement staff to investigate this matter and to determine the facts of the case.
At the conclusion of the investigation, the NCAA determined that the former assistant coach violated the NCAA unethical conduct bylaws when he fraudulently created and submitted documentation for an NCAA waiver to the university’s Athletics Compliance Office. The documentation was subsequently removed from the waiver prior to review by the NCAA.
The NCAA determined this case to be a Level II mitigated infraction. The NCAA noted the university’s quick action in self-reporting this infraction to the both the Mid-American Conference Office and the NCAA Enforcement staff as well as the university’s pre-existing system of compliance methods and rules adherence. The NCAA did not find a lack of institutional control or failure to monitor, and did not name any other University staff, coaches or student athletes in the case.
Through the NCAA process of Negotiated Resolution, the NCAA and UB have agreed upon the facts of this case and have mutually determined the appropriate sanctions. The NCAA Division I Committee on Infractions subsequently reviewed and approved the following penalties:
1. One year of probation.
2. The institution shall pay a fine of $5,000 to the NCAA.
3. Two-week ban on all recruiting communications for men’s basketball during the 2020-21 academic year.
4. A reduction of five men’s basketball recruiting days during the 2020-21 academic year.
The University at Buffalo would like to thank the NCAA Enforcement staff for their time and efforts to both educate our staff members during this process and to bring closure to this matter.
Click here for the NCAA Committee on Infractions Report, which includes a detailed list of penalties and the complete negotiated resolution.
STATEMENT FROM ATHLETIC DIRECTOR MARK ALNUTT:
NCAA rules compliance is a top priority of our athletic department. Thanks to our compliance staff and our head coach Jim Whitesell, we were extremely proactive with this situation and fully cooperative with the NCAA Enforcement staff during the entire process. I want to thank the NCAA for their thorough and professional manner in handling this case. As we continue to work towards a tradition of excellence, we will hold ourselves to the highest standard of ethical conduct and compliance.
STATEMENT FROM HEAD MEN’S BASKETBALL COACH JIM WHITESELL:
I have been in this game for over 35 years as both a head coach and assistant coach. As the leader of the UB men’s basketball program, I am committed to following NCAA rules and regulations and to preventing a recurrence of these issues. I want to thank the hard work of the NCAA enforcement staff as well as our compliance team and the leadership of Mark Alnutt in this matter. My staff and I made a commitment to this University: We will not compromise when it comes to compliance with NCAA rules or confronting unethical behavior. We are deeply dedicated to upholding the integrity of men’s basketball at UB.