Missouri's basketball team was put on two years' probation today, banned from the NCAA tournament next March and hit with severe restrictions on recruiting and scholarships.
The NCAA said Missouri was guilty of major violations between 1985 and 1989 concerning recruiting, benefits for athletes and academic irregularities.In addition to the postseason ban for the 1990-91 season, Missouri cannot provide expense-paid recruiting visits during 1991; only one member of the coaching staff can engage in off-campus recruiting and evaluation for 1991; and the school can give only one basketball scholarship during the 1991-92 academic year and no more than two in 1992-93.
On Wednesday, the NCAA placed the Illinois basketball program on probation for three years, including an NCAA tournament ban next March. Also, the school is banned from off-campus basketball recruiting and from paying for visits by recruits to its campus the first year. The school also will be limited to awarding just two basketball scholarships in each of the first two seasons of the probation.
Chuck Smrt, NCAA director of enforcement, said the penalties against Missouri were lightened because the school had no history of NCAA violations and accepted responsibility for violations that were uncovered. Illinois was hit with NCAA sanctions on five previous occasions since 1967.
"As a result of these mitigating circumstances, the committee waived certain penalties it was considering (against Missouri), including prohibiting the team from live television appearances and keeping all members of the coaching staff out of recruiting next year," Smrt said at a news conference at the NCAA headquarters.
The probe began almost two years ago into the basketball program of Norm Stewart, who has a 552-273 collegiate record in 29 years and 455-231 record in 23 seasons at Missouri. He is the winningest Big Eight Conference basketball coach with 197 victories.