The NCAA announced this afternoon a 2019-20 postseason ban for Georgia Tech’s men’s basketball program, among other sanctions.
The Yellow Jackets have been hit with harsh sanctions due to NCAA violations that occurred during the Josh Pastner era.
Two Georgia Tech boosters allegedly provided impermissible benefits to the men’s basketball program, according to the NCAA.
“Both sets of violations occurred because men’s basketball coaching staff members invited outside individuals into their program,” the committee said. “They permitted these outside individuals to interact with their student-athletes, and those actions resulted in violations.”
The first set of violations resulted from the recruitment of a highly touted prospect, according to the committee. While the prospect was on campus for his official visit, a former assistant coach arranged for the prospect and his student-athlete host to interact with a booster, who was a former Georgia Tech basketball student-athlete and at the time played for the local NBA team. The plans included a visit to the booster’s home, a trip to a strip club and a free meal at a lounge owned by a local NBA player. The booster got the prospect and host into the club without paying a cover. Once inside the club, the booster provided the prospect and the host with $300 each to spend at the club.
The booster also engaged in impermissible recruitment when he texted and called the potential transfer student-athlete. The potential transfer was a student-athlete from the head coach’s previous school, and the booster had maintained a personal friendship with him. The booster made the head coach aware that he continued to communicate with the potential transfer, but the head coach did not report any concern to the compliance office because he did not believe his friend triggered booster status.
The NCAA has thus announced the following punishment:
- Four years of probation.
- A 2019-20 postseason ban for the men’s basketball team.
- A fine of $5,000 plus 2% of the men’s basketball program budget.
- A reduction of one men’s basketball scholarship during each year of probation.
- Recruiting restrictions for the men’s basketball program that will apply for each year of probation, including:
- An eight-week ban on unofficial visits.
- A three-visit reduction from the permissible number of official visits.
- An eight-week ban on recruiting communications.
- A reduction of 19 recruiting-person days from the permissible number.
- A three-year show-cause order for the former assistant coach. During that period, any NCAA member school employing him must restrict him from any athletically related duties unless it shows cause why the restrictions should not apply.
- A vacation of records in which the men’s basketball student-athletes competed while ineligible. The university must provide a written report containing the contests impacted to the NCAA media coordination and statistics staff within 14 days of the public decision release.
- A prohibition from scheduling official visits in conjunction with home men’s basketball competitions during the first two years of probation.
- Disassociations of the following individuals (self-imposed by the university):
- A three-year disassociation of the former assistant coach.
- A three-year disassociation of the former Georgia Tech men’s basketball student-athlete and booster.
- A disassociation of the head coach’s friend and booster.
Georgia Tech’s men’s basketball program is coming off a 14-18 season. The Yellow Jackets haven’t made the NCAA Tournament since 2010.