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NCAA Rules Ex-Official at Cal State-Northridge Committed Academic Misconduct

A former director of basketball operations at California State University at Northridge committed academic misconduct when he gave “impermissible academic benefits” to 10 men’s basketball players, the National Collegiate Athletic Association said in a news release on Wednesday. The release also said the university did not investigate and monitor the former official, whom the NCAA did not name.

As a result, the men’s basketball team will be penalized with three years of probation, from 2016 to 2019, a one-year ban on postseason play (in 2015-16), a vacating of the team’s records when ineligible athletes participated, and a five-year show-cause order for the former official, the release said. The NCAA’s infractions committee also agreed to the university’s self-imposed sanctions, including eliminating two scholarships for men’s basketball over two academic years.

NCAA investigators did not find the former official credible when he denied finishing coursework for athletes or providing them with “impermissible benefits.”

In its investigation, the NCAA found data on the former official’s computer on about 3,000 individual actions related to the 10 athletes. He did not explain why the data included logins, submissions, and attempts at assignments. The computer’s IP address was at his parents’ home, more than 70 miles away from the university.

In a statement, Reggie Theus, the men’s basketball coach, said the university wanted the team to move forward.

“The university administration and I take these issues seriously, and champion the overall well-being of student-athletes,” he said.

Correction (12/7/2016, 4:02 p.m.): This post originally misstated when the university observed a ban on postseason play. The penalty was effective in 2015-16, not in some future year. The post has been updated to reflect this correction.

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