NCAA Hits USC Basketball With 2 years’ Probation
LOS ANGELES (AP) — The NCAA has hit Southern California’s men's basketball program with two years’ probation and a $5,000 fine because of a former assistant who violated NCAA ethical conduct rules when he accepted a bribe to steer players to a business management company.
The Division I Committee on Infractions announced the penalties, which include a 1% loss of the school’s basketball budget. Tony Bland, the former associate head coach under coach Andy Enfield, was fired in January 2018. He pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit bribery and received two years' probation.
As part of his plea deal with federal prosecutors, Bland acknowledged accepting a $4,100 bribe during a July 2017 meeting with financial advisers and business managers in exchange for directing players to retain their services when they entered the pro ranks. He received two years’ probation.
USC is the fourth school involved in the federal investigation of conspiracy and bribery in college basketball to be punished by the NCAA.
South Carolina is on two years’ probation; Oklahoma State is on three years’ probation and banned from participating in the postseason for one season; and Alabama was put on three years’ probation.
Other schools that have acknowledged receiving a notice of allegations from the NCAA are Arizona, which fired coach Sean Miller on April 7, Kansas, Louisville, North Carolina State, and TCU.