NCAA hits SMU with postseason ban, suspends Larry Brown

Larry Brown (USATSI)
Larry Brown’s SMU Mustangs have been given a postseason ban. (USATSI)

Hall of Fame coach Larry Brown will be suspended for 30 percent of SMU’s games this season — and his Mustangs are getting a postseason ban for the season — because of an NCAA investigation that uncovered rules violations, a source confirmed to CBS Sports.

The NCAA subsequently announced the findings and punishment.

Brown was hit with a “lack of coach control” charge and given a two-year show-cause order. He’ll now be required to attend an NCAA Regional Rules seminar during each year of the show-cause period, and his program will be placed on three years probation and lose three scholarships for three straight years starting in 2016-17 — although SMU will be given credit for its self-imposed two-scholarship reduction for 2015-16, the NCAA announced.

The NCAA’s investigation discovered that former assistant Ulric Maligi “encouraged [Keith Frazier] to enroll in an online course to meet NCAA initial eligibility standards and be admitted to the university. After he enrolled in the course, a former men’s basketball administrative assistant obtained the student’s username and password then completed all of his coursework. The student-athlete received fraudulent credit for the course and, as a result, competed while ineligible during his freshman season. When speaking with NCAA enforcement staff, the student-athlete admitted that the former administrative assistant asked him to provide false information during the interview. In its decision, the panel noted it is very troubled that academic advising was administered by athletics staff.”

Brown is blamed for failing to “ensure a culture of compliance.” The NCAA did not allege he had direct knowledge or involvement in the misconduct. Still, the NCAA said, Brown did not report the misconduct upon learning of it in 2014 for more than a month, and the NCAA alleged Brown was not initially truthful when asked about potential violations.

This marks the third time a program run by Brown has faced major rules violations.

The other two times came at UCLA and Kansas.

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