Texas-El Paso basketball coach Don Haskins, former assistant coach Norm Ellenberger and assistant coach Greg Lackey have been accused by the NCAA of making improper recruiting contacts, according to a letter of official inquiry.
The 15-page letter, with many of its pages virtually blank because UTEP officials deleted information to protect the privacy of current or former students named in an NCAA investigation, was released Monday.According to the letter of inquiry, Haskins, Ellenberger and Lackey are accused of "impermissible in-person, off-campus recruiting contacts with two prospective student athletes."
The details of those alleged violations were among the portions of the letter deleted by UTEP before it was released to the public.
Ellenberger, now a full-time assistant coach at Indiana University, was a part-time assistant coach at UTEP from 1986 to 1990. NCAA rules bar part-time coaches from recruiting off-campus.
Ellenberger could not be reached for comment Monday, the El Paso Times reported today.
Haskins, Lackey and all other UTEP employees have been asked by UTEP President Diana Natalicio not to comment on the NCAA findings until the school completes its own investigation.
Natalicio last month released a list of the 13 allegations lodged by the NCAA against the UTEP basketball program. The charges ranged from an assistant coach lying to an NCAA investigator to a booster providing free use of cars to players.
If the NCAA finds UTEP guilty of rules violations, the school's basketball team could face a range of sanctions, including loss of scholarships and a ban on postseason play.