NCAA hits SMU basketball with postseason ban, scholarship limit

- Southern Methodist University men’s basketball and golf programs were banned from 2016 postseason play and assessed other sanctions on Tuesday due to violations found by the NCAA.

The NCAA said it found the school committed academic fraud and participated in unethical conduct when the basketball coaching staff helped guard Keith Frazier with his coursework.

“A former assistant men’s basketball coach encouraged a student-athlete to enroll in an online course to meet NCAA initial eligibility standards and be admitted to the university. After he enrolled in the course, a former men’s basketball administrative assistant obtained the student’s username and password then completed all of his coursework,” the NCAA said in a release.

The NCAA also said head coach Larry Brown failed to control the program and then didn’t report the violation when he learned about it. The Hall of Famer will be suspended for at least nine games during the upcoming season.

Other penalties include three years of probation, scholarship reductions, vacation of some wins, fines and recruiting restrictions.

At a press conference on Tuesday afternoon, SMU officials said they were considering an appeal of the sanctions. The university has 15 days to do so.

SMU President R. Gerald Turner said there were a "couple of things that we know we are going to consider very seriously appealing."

Turner also said he supported Coach Brown and said he plans for him to be the head coach at SMU moving forward.

SMU Athletic Director Rick Hart said members of the basketball team were upset when told about the postseason ban for the upcoming season and "they reacted very strongly to having an opportunity taken from them.”

Head coach Larry Brown said he didn't lie to investigators when they interviewed him about the situation.

"I didn’t lie. I corrected a statement I made in 60 seconds and did the right thing," Brown said.

Brown said when he found what happened, he told the people involved to do the right thing.

Brown told reporters he has no plans on resigning and he has "a lot of kids in that locker room that count on me."

The Mustangs ended last season in the AP Top 25, won both the American Athletic Conference regular season and tournament title and ended a two-decade plus NCAA tournament drought.

Regarding men’s golf, the NCAA found the former golf coach violated recruiting restrictions by contacting prospective players and their parents when he was not permitted to and offering them discounts on university merchandise and equipment.

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