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Could UConn’s sanctions foreshadow what’s to come for Arizona?

uconn-huskies-ncaa-sanctions-arizona-wildcats-ollie-miller Casey Sapio-USA TODAY Sports

The NCAA warned that it was about drop the hammer on some schools, and it stayed true to its word, punishing the UConn Huskies on Tuesday.

Former head coach Kevin Ollie was given a three-year show-cause order while the school was placed on two-year probation and handed these sanctions:

  • A vacation of records in which men’s basketball student-athletes competed while ineligible.
  • A limit of 12 men’s basketball scholarships during the 2019-20 academic year, a reduction by one from the allowable 13 scholarships (self-imposed by the university).
  • A one-week ban on men’s basketball unofficial visits during the 2018-19 academic year (self-imposed by the university) and a two-week ban during the 2019-20 academic year.
  • A one-week ban on recruiting communications in men’s basketball during the 2018-19 academic year (self-imposed by the university).
  • A reduction of four men’s basketball recruiting-person days during the 2018-19 (self-imposed by the university) and 2019-20 academic years.
  • A one-visit reduction from the permissible number of official visits in men’s basketball during the rolling 2018-19 and 2019-20 two-year period.
  • A $5,000 fine (self-imposed by the university).

The NCAA said Ollie “failed to monitor his staff and did not promote an atmosphere of compliance” and also provided false or misleading information during the investigation and declined a second interview with the NCAA.

“This case illustrates the importance of full candor and cooperation in the infractions process, as well as head coach control,” the committee said in its decision. “The former head coach faltered in both respects, increasing the severity of his violations and allowing violations within the program to occur for most of his tenure.”

Lack of institution control and individual unethical or dishonest conduct are considered Level I violations by the NCAA, the most severe.

In addition, the NCAA reported that UConn committed multiple Level III violations, which are considered limited or isolated in nature. The details of those violations can be found here.

In short, they include “impermissible recruiting contacts by a booster and former professional basketball player, impermissible recruiting benefits to prospects and their families, and an impermissible number of recruiting-person days.”

Why is this being published on an Arizona Wildcats website?

Simply because Arizona is under NCAA investigation and it could provide some insight as to what kind of sanctions the UA will be facing once the investigation concludes, though obviously these two situations could be very different.

Arizona acknowledged earlier this year it was under investigation but whether that inquiry is over or not is unknown. The NCAA hasn’t commented on the Wildcats’ situation publicly, though on June 12 an official told Yahoo! Sports that six programs were facing notices of allegations during the summer regarding Level 1 violations and the speculation was Arizona was one of them.

The conviction of former assistant coach Emmanuel ‘Book’ Richardson on a federal bribery charge, as well as the dismissal of assistant Mark Phelps for a self-reported recruiting violation—something his attorney claims his client didn’t do, and that his firing was meant to offset potential NCAA sanctions—are among the things Arizona and coach Sean Miller could get nailed for.