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NCAA set to notify at least 6 college basketball programs of Level I violations

Will Arizona be one of them?

BYU v Kansas State Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

The NCAA has yet to dole out any sanctions to the 20-plus schools that were embroiled in the federal investigation into college basketball, but they will be coming soon.

Very soon, for some schools.

Stan Wilcox, NCAA vice president for regulatory affairs, told CBS Sports that at least six programs will be receiving a Notice of Allegations for Level I violations, and two of those schools, described as “high-profile” programs, will receive them by early July.

The others will receive the notices later in the summer, per Wilcox.

According to the NCAA, Level I violations are those that “seriously undermine or threaten the integrity of the NCAA collegiate model as set forth in the Constitution and bylaws, including any violation that provides or is intended to provide a substantial or extensive recruiting, competitive or other advantage, or a substantial or extensive impermissible benefit.”

Examples of Level I violations are lack of institutional control, academic fraud, failure to cooperate in an NCAA enforcement investigation, and individual unethical or dishonest conduct.

Penalties for such violations can include postseason bans, loss of scholarships, recruiting visit restrictions, head coach suspensions, and show-cause penalties.

The Arizona Wildcats were at the forefront of the federal investigation into college basketball and recently confirmed they are under NCAA investigation, so it is certainly possible they will be one of the schools to receive discipline.

However, an important line in CBS’s story is that “Wilcox said only those schools involved in eligibility issues would be impacted.”

So far, Arizona has not had any players declared ineligible since the federal investigation came to light in September 2017. Former UA assistant Book Richardson was recently sentenced to three months in prison for accepting $20,000 in bribes to steer players toward particular agents, not for paying players.

Richardson also said he has “no knowledge of Sean Miller paying players or attempting to pay them.”

Deandre Ayton was one of the players caught up in the federal investigation, but last February an independent law firm declared he had abided by all NCAA rules and was fully eligible to compete.

Even former Arizona commit Jahvon Quinerly, who was alleged to have been paid by Richardson, was cleared to play for Villanova this past season.

But Richardson’s wrongdoing could be categorized as lack of institutional control, and the impetus for former UA assistant Mark Phelps’ suspension was reportedly for academic reasons, both of which could be Level I violations.