The NCAA slapped the men’s basketball program at Georgia Tech with penalties stemming from violations of NCAA rules committed by boosters associated with the program.
According to a release explaining the violations and penalties, the NCAA Committee on Infractions outlined two separate sets of violations.
The first involved the recruitment of a highly touted prospect, who was given impermissible benefits while on campus for an official visit. Darryl LaBarrie, a former assistant coach, arranged for the recruit and his student-athlete host to interact with a booster, former Tech hoops star Jarrett Jack. According to the committee, Jack hosted the student-athlete and the prospect at his home, and arranged for the pair to visit a local strip club and gave them each $300 to spend while there.
LaBarrie initially denied any involvement in the incident to NCAA enforcement staff, but ultimately admitted to arranging it.
The second set of violations came from Ron Bell, a friend of head coach Josh Pastner. Despite Pastner warning Bell to never give recruits anything of value, Bell provided both current players and a potential transfer student-athlete impermissible benefits in the form of shoes, clothes, meals, transportation and lodging.
LaBarrie was ultimately asked to resign for his role in the violations, and Georgia Tech itself self-imposed penalties including recruiting restrictions, according to the Atlanta Journal Constitution.
That wasn’t enough from the NCAA’s point of view, as they assessed the program the following penalties:
- Four years of probation.
- A 2019-20 postseason ban for the men’s basketball team.
- A fine of $5,000 plus 2% of the men’s basketball program budget.
- A reduction of one men’s basketball scholarship during each year of probation.
- Recruiting restrictions for the men’s basketball program that will apply for each year of probation, including:
- An eight-week ban on unofficial visits.
- A three-visit reduction from the permissible number of official visits.
- An eight-week ban on recruiting communications.
- A reduction of 19 recruiting-person days from the permissible number.
- A three-year show-cause order for the former assistant coach. During that period, any NCAA member school employing him must restrict him from any athletically related duties unless it shows cause why the restrictions should not apply.
- A vacation of records in which the men’s basketball student-athletes competed while ineligible. The university must provide a written report containing the contests impacted to the NCAA media coordination and statistics staff within 14 days of the public decision release.
- A prohibition from scheduling official visits in conjunction with home men’s basketball competitions during the first two years of probation.
Disassociations of the following individuals:
- >A three-year disassociation of the former assistant coach (self-imposed by the university).
- A three-year disassociation of the former Georgia Tech men’s basketball student-athlete and booster.
- A disassociation of the head coach’s friend and booster (self-imposed by the university).
Georgia Tech AD Todd Stansbury told the AJC that he was surprised by the penalties. “Both the severity and the length of some of those penalties. We’re obviously at the point where we’re just digesting what’s been handed down, but I think that’s also why we’re going to look at what are our appeal options.”
The school has 15 days to notify the NCAA of its intent to appeal.