Pacific’s Ron Verlin, assistant suspended amid NCAA investigation

Pacific has suspended basketball coach Ron Verlin. (USATSI)
Pacific has suspended basketball coach Ron Verlin. (USATSI)

Pacific has suspended head coach Ron Verlin and assistant Dwight Young as a result of an NCAA investigation stemming from allegations of academic misconduct.

“This action is commensurate with what the investigation has revealed so far,” said Pacific athletic director Ted Leland. “I know how hard this is on our student-athletes, their parents, our athletics staff and our fans and supporters, but we must hold ourselves to the highest standards of integrity and ethical behavior, and fully comply with all NCAA regulations.”

Assistant Mike Burns will serve as Pacific’s interim head coach.

Burns was formerly the head coach at Eastern Washington.

CBS Sports reported in September that Pacific officials were looking into allegations of improper behavior by former assistant Joe Ford. An NCAA investigation subsequently launched, and a source told CBS Sports that investigators were on campus last month conducting interviews.

According to the source, the NCAA is looking into whether Ford helped student-athletes remain eligible with online coursework and provided impermissible benefits. The source added other members of the program — past and present — are believed to have been involved, or at least aware, of the alleged behavior, which is what led to the suspensions of Verlin and Young.

Three current Pacific players — Sami Eleraky, Alec Kobre and Eric Thompson — are believed to have been involved on some level. Kobre has been held out of six of Pacific’s games this season. Eleraky and Thompson have been held out of all seven games.

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

Ford left Pacific for Idaho this past offseason. But the Pacific graduate resigned his position from Idaho after CBS Sports’ initial report. He has not responded to an interview request.

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