NCAA: University of Northern Colorado coach did coursework, paid tuition for prospective recruits
February 19, 2017
Read the entire report
To see the NCAA’s letter of allegation, which details its investigation into the UNC men’s basketball team, click here.
Read Norton’s memo
To see a memo from UNC President Kay Norton regarding the NCAA violations, click here.
Timeline of Process
Below is a timeline of the NCAA investigative process into the University of Northern Colorado men’s basketball team.
April 21 — UNC self-reports to the NCAA potential violations of men’s basketball program.
Oct. 7 — UNC announces self-imposed penalties that include a postseason ban for the program this season, financial penalties, and restrictions on recruiting and future financial aid awards in the program.
Feb. 10 — NCAA concludes investigation and provides written Notice of Allegations to UNC. February-May: The university and others involved in the case will prepare and file responses to the Notice of Allegations. Pursuant to NCAA Bylaw 19.7.2, responses from the institution shall be submitted within 90 days from the date of this letter unless an extension is granted by the Committee on Infractions.
Summer 2017 (anticipated) — The university, enforcement staff, and others involved will attend a scheduled hearing with the Committee on Infractions to review the case.
Fall 2017 (anticipated) — The Committee on Infractions will issue a decision containing its findings.
– University of Northern Colorado
Former UNC basketball coach B.J. Hill completed coursework for players, had assistants complete coursework for student athletes and provided $7,000 in impermissible benefits to players, according to the results of an eight-month NCAA investigation into the UNC men's basketball program.
The NCAA report laid out nine violations, including eight "Level 1" violations, the most severe NCAA violations possible.
It's unclear at this time what, if any, NCAA sanctions may come from the violations, which UNC self-reported in April and instituted its own penalties, hoping the NCAA will agree.
UNC sent the report, as well as a memo from UNC President Kay Norton, on Monday afternoon.
Problems with the program first came to light in April, when UNC self-reported potential violations to the NCAA.
UNC officials would not release the exact nature of the alleged violations, although they fired Hill after reporting the allegations to the NCAA.
In the notice of allegations, NCAA investigators on Feb. 10 laid out their case against former UNC coaches. Nearly all were described as a Level 1 Violations, the most severe, because the violations provided or were intended to provide advantages in recruiting and showed "reckless indifference" to the NCAA constitution and bylaws.
In an email to the UNC campus, UNC President Kay Norton said the rule violations are serious.
"It is extremely unfortunate that the actions of our former coaches initially went undetected; however, the allegations do not charge that we lacked institutional control or failed to monitor our men's basketball program," she said.
Current UNC coach Jeff Linder has directed the program this season under the penalties imposed by the school, which include not being able to participate in the Big Sky Conference postseason tournament.
"I wasn't privy to any of the (recent) details when I took the job," Linder said Monday night. "It was all done by the administration and I came on board, sat back and did my job and let them do theirs."
UNC's self-imposed penalties include the loss of three scholarships over the course of the next two seasons and less than half of the NCAA allowable 130 recruiting days, a penalty that Linder said "hurts."
Linder has maintained he believes the UNC program can be successful and is looking forward to the entire violation/penalty process being a thing of the past.
The NCAA investigation found Hill violated rules from 2010-14, providing $7,000 in recruiting inducements that resulted in four student athletes enrolling, practicing, competing and receiving institutional financial aid and other expenses while ineligible.
Hill completed academic coursework in algebra for a men's basketball player, and he directed an athletic trainer to do the same for another prospective player, according to the report.
The $7,000 Hill provided to recruits paid tuition for prospective student athletes, according to the report.
On top of providing benefits and taking courses for prospective students, Hill directed assistant coaches to do the same, according to the report.
Combined with Hill's contributions, UNC coaches paid $12,000 in tuition for players at other institutions.
Former UNC assistants Logan Bean, Ryan Martin, Anthony Urruitia, Shawn Ellis, Joel Davidson and Eric Murphy are all implicated in either payments for courses or the actual completion of courses for prospective student athletes, according to the report.
Davidson refused to talk to investigators, and both Murphy and Martin are accused of lying to investigators when questioned about the allegations.
For the NCAA, there are several aggravating factors to the violations, including the number of employees involved and the fact Hill participated in, and encouraged the violations and disregard for NCAA rules.
However, investigators also praised UNC for its handling of the allegations and indicated the university's quick actions could serve to mitigate punishment from the NCAA.