UNLV will avoid the NCAA's death penalty for violations in the latest probe of the university's basketball program, according to the head of the NCAA Committee on Infractions.
D. Alan Williams said the Runnin' Rebel basketball program does not fit the guidelines for the death penalty, which shuts down a program completely for a certain amount of time.Williams said the penalty is reserved for programs that have been found to have committed a major violation within five years of the start of a major penalty.
UNLV will not be allowed on live television next year or to appear in the NCAA postseason tournament, but those penalties were the result of alleged recruiting violations in 1977.
"It would not fall under the category of repeat violators," said Williams, a history professor at the University of Virginia. "The UNLV case took place more than five years before the current allegations. To be considered a repeat violator, the violation must occur within five years of the original penalty."
UNLV legal counsel Brad Booke said the question of whether UNLV could be hit with the death penalty was one he raised when university officials appeared before the Committee on Infractions last October to discuss penalties stemming from coach Jerry Tarkanian's 1977 battle with the organization.
Booke said it came out during discussion with the committee that UNLV would not be eligible for the death penalty.
Booke said earlier this week that UNLV would admit to some violations in the 29-count letter of inquiry the NCAA gave to the university in December.
But he said the university would vigorously contest other allegations.
Most of the allegations stem from the university's recruitment of former New York City prep star Lloyd Daniels, who was later arrested at a crack house and never played for UNLV.
UNLV has until June 1 to formally respond to the allegations, and is expected to go before the Committee on Infractions in August or September to discuss the case.