NCAA investigating Pacific’s men’s basketball program

The NCAA is investigating, among other things, allegations of academic misconduct committed by former assistant Joe Ford within Pacific’s men’s basketball program, a source has told CBS Sports.

A Pacific official confirmed the investigation when contacted Monday by CBS Sports.

The school then released the following statement to CBS Sports: “On Wednesday, Oct. 7, University of the Pacific initiated an investigation into alleged academic misconduct in Athletics. Academic integrity is a fundamental value at Pacific, and we take such allegations with utmost seriousness. On Thursday, Oct. 8, the university informed the WCC and NCAA of the allegations. The university’s faculty athletics representative and the faculty chair of the Athletics Advisory Board also were notified. Under NCAA rules, the institution is obligated to protect the integrity of any NCAA inquiry. We will cooperate fully with the NCAA to review this matter and will not make any further comment at this time.”

The NCAA’s policy is to refrain from commenting on investigations.

CBS Sports reported last month that Pacific had hired an independent investigator to look into allegations of inappropriate behavior by Ford — who was, at that point, on staff at Idaho. That investigation remains open. Ford subsequently resigned his position at Idaho. He has not responded to a request for comment from CBS Sports.

A source told CBS Sports that the NCAA has already interviewed former Pacific staff members, current players, former players and at least one professor. The NCAA is expected to continue interviews this week.

Among the allegations the NCAA is looking into is that Ford helped student-athletes remain eligible with online coursework and possibly provided impermissible benefits, a source said. The source added other members of the men’s basketball program — past and present — could also be involved.

“A Notice of Allegations [from the NCAA] seems inevitable,” a source said.

Pacific is a member of the West Coast Conference and coached by Ron Verlin.

The Tigers were 12-19 overall, 4-14 last season.

The University of the Pacific is under NCAA investigation. (USATSI)
The University of the Pacific is under NCAA investigation. (USATSI)

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