The University of Kentucky basketball program has been slapped with 17 additional allegations of wrongdoing by the NCAA, it was announced at a news conference Saturday.
The charges range from improper inducements to recruits to academic fraud as well as questions of ethical conduct by the basketball staff during the inquiry.The NCAA also indicated that two more allegations could result from the investigation of the program.
The university was notified of one allegation on July 22 - that assistant coach Dwane Casey sent $1,000 to the father of recruit Chris Mills. Casey has denied sending money and the Millses have denied receiving any.
"It's been more than two months since the single allegation," UK president David Roselle said at the 40-minute news conference. "I was saddened by the first allegation. I'm even more saddened by the additional allegations."
The NCAA probe began last April after the Los Angeles Daily News reported that a package allegedly sent by Casey to Claud Mills via Emery Air Freight Corp. popped open in transit, revealing $1,000 in cash.
The university has until Dec. 12 to reply to the 18 allegations, according to a letter sent to Roselle by S. David Berst, who heads the NCAA's investigative arm.
"The current situation has not changed our position in the least," Roselle said of the findings. "It is the same as when the matter first began. Our resolve to thoroughly investigate all the allegations is firm."
Berst said a hearing before the NCAA Committee on Infractions would be scheduled after the university submitted its response to the charges.
Among the allegations against the program include:
- A recruit was promised a monthly allowance of $300 from the time he signed a letter of intent until leaving the school, an automobile at the time of signing and opportunity for different automobile when he leaves, and financial support for his mother.
The NCAA added that "a named representative of the university's athletics interests confirmed these offers ..."
- An athlete gave false and misleading information to university and NCAA enforcment staff and "the university violated NCAA rules by certifying the student-athlete's eligibility for competition."
- A high school coach of a prospective athlete was given excess compensation for work at a basketball camp in 1987.
- The university allowed three prospective athletes and one athlete to stay in Wildcat Lodge, the dormitory for UK basketball players, in summer 1987 without paying the bill until October 1987, "contrary to policies applicable to other students." The NCAA also noted that the three prospective athletes were not enrolled in classes at the university.
- The basketball staff didn't exercise appropriate control over complimentary admissions to games.
- The basketball staff "acted contrary to NCAA principles of ethical conduct by demonstrating a knowing and willful failure to comply with NCAA regulations and by providing false and misleading information to NCAA investigators."
The NCAA said the allegations "demonstrate a lack of appropriate institutional control and monitoring" of the basketball program.
The other allegations ranged from improper transportation to gifts for recruits.
"I have not yet had the opportunity to study all the allegations," Kentucky coach Eddie Sutton said in a statement released by the sports information office. "I cannot, therefore, comment on any specific allegations at this time."
James Park Jr., who heads the university's investigation, recommended to Roselle that names mentioned in the allegations not be released because of possible litigation.
"Some of the information in the allegations and questions from the NCAA may be inaccurate," he said in a letter to Roselle. "If any such information is inaccurate, persons identified in the official inquiry could possibly be defamed or placed in a false light."