DePaul basketball has been mired in a decade-long slump. Even so, the Blue Demons are reportedly caught up in an NCAA scandal.
According to a new report by The DePaulia, a student-run DePaul news site, the men's basketball program is being investigated. From the report:
The NCAA is investigating DePaul University’s athletic department for violations of NCAA rules and regulations, according to sources close to the men’s basketball program.
The precise nature of the investigation and the conduct being investigated is currently unknown. Sources say current and past players and coaches have been questioned by NCAA officials.
There are not a lot of details available so far. DePaul responded to the report without really acknowledging investigation, instead stating the school's commitment "to NCAA rules compliance."
DePaul has been horrible for a decade, but the program has managed to get involved, and fall short of landing, a few blue-chip recruits.
The school was all-in on landing former five-star recruit Brian Bowen, who eventually landed at Louisville before being identified in the FBI investigation into college basketball corruption. He wound up transferring to South Carolina and sitting out the entire season.
Dave Leitao hired Bowen's high school coach Shane Heirman from Indiana powerhouse La Lumiere to his staff, as well as his AAU coach Tim Anderson, from Nike EYBL's MeanStreets AAU program. Still, Bowen spurned DePaul for the Cards.
None of that is illegal, though some definitely consider it a bit unsavory. There is no indication as of now that DePaul's recruitment of Bowen is the genesis of this reported NCAA inquiry.
For a time, Leitao had landed a commitment from four-star guard Tyger Campbell. He later decommitted, eventually settling on UCLA.
Leitao is currently in his second stint as DePaul head coach. In his three years with the Blue Demons, the team is 29-65, with a 9-45 record in Big East play.
He previously led the team from 2002-05. During the first run, the program played in Conference USA.
He had three-straight winning seasons during that run, including an NCAA Tournament berth in 2004. That was the last trip for DePaul to the NCAA Tournament.
The school has only had one winning season since that Tournament year. In 2005-06, DePaul's second year in the Big East, it went 20-14 and made the NIT. The program has failed to win more than 12 games in a season since.