NCAA places Eagles on probation
By Donald Heath| Morris News Service
Thursday, January 21, 2010

STATESBORO, Ga. --- People surrounding the Georgia Southern men's basketball program knew this day was coming.

Nearly a year ago, improprieties led to the dismissal of two players, an assistant coach, and ultimately the resignation of head coach Jeff Price.

On Wednesday, the NCAA Division I Committee on Infractions levied penalties on the Eagles for major violations.

Georgia Southern will serve two years probation, have scholarships reduced from 13 to 12 for the next three years, and restrict recruiting visits from 12 to eight.

The Eagles must forfeit wins during the 2007-08 (20-12) and 2008-09 (8-22) seasons in which two ineligible players participated.

The NCAA found "unethical conduct by members of the men's basketball staff stemming from academic fraud and the provision of false and misleading information."

The committee also found that the university failed to monitor the program.

A public report released by Georgia Southern on Wednesday said a former assistant coach and the former director of basketball operations were involved in academic fraud.

Neither assistant coach nor director of basketball operations was named in the report, but assistant Nolan Myrick was fired during the 2008-09 season and director of basketball operation John Miller did not return for the 2008-09 season.

"I think the word I'd use is disappointed," athletic director Sam Baker said. "You hire people, you think you know them, and then they try to circumvent the NCAA. ... We want to win, but we want to win in a proper way."

The former assistant received a five-year show-cause order by the NCAA, meaning if he decides to get another coaching job from an NCAA institution within the next five years, he must appear in front of the committee of infractions to give reason why he should be employed.

The former director of basketball operations received a two-year show-cause for his involvement.

Reach Donald Heath at donald.heath@morris.com.

From the Thursday, January 21, 2010 edition of the Augusta Chronicle
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