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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    UA hoops program under invesigation

    UA hoops program under invesigation

    The UA men’s basketball program is under investigation by the NCAA for alleged recruiting violations, according to a notice of inquiry sent to UA President Robert Shelton obtained by the Daily Wildcat.

    UA Athletic Director Jim Livengood released a statement in September containing a self-report of infraction to the Pacific 10 Conference regarding a potential recruiting violation from former UA head coach Lute Olson.

    Livengood filed the NCAA Level II infraction last summer, citing a letter Olson allegedly signed seeking private donations for an AAU basketball tournament held in McKale Center in May.

    According to NCAA rules and regulations, a school or coach is not allowed to offer or arrange financial assistance – directly or indirectly – to pay for a recruit’s expenses before his enrollment into the school.

    The letter from the NCAA, dated Feb. 6, was sent to Shelton, Pac-10 commissioner Thomas Hansen and UA athletics director Jim Livengood.

    Olson released a follow-up retraction to the boosters, claiming the original letter was sent from the basketball operations office without him ever seeing or approving it, because “”it was a clear cut violation of NCAA rules.””

    In the follow-up letter, Olson stated his remorse in the original letter, which included an electronic signature and was sent out marked “”personal and confidential.””

    “”I am very embarrassed that this letter was sent,”” Olson said in the follow-up letter. “”I have already met with our compliance officer to apologize about this letter. Please accept my deepest apology.””

    Olson addressed the media Wednesday afternoon, but Richard Paige, UA’s men’s basketball media relations director, said before the press conference that no questions would be answered regarding the investigation.

    “”It’s an ongoing investigation of which we are cooperating fully,”” Paige said, “”but we won’t be able to comment any more than we already have been, because of the fact that it is an ongoing investigation.””

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