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Georgia Tech men’s basketball program reportedly charged with serious recruiting violations by NCAA


Georgia Tech’s men’s basketball program has been sent a Notice of Allegations by the NCAA after an investigation into its recruiting practices, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

The newspaper reported Thursday night that the school is accused, per NCAA findings, of two Level I violations after an investigation revealed a former Yellow Jackets basketball coach and a man named Ron Bell provided improper benefits and broke recruiting rules with prospective student-athletes.

Georgia Tech coach Josh Pastner is not named nor held responsible for any of the violations detailed in the NCAA’s findings. When reached by phone Thursday night, Pastner declined to comment to CBS Sports. 

The former coach is Darryl LaBarrie, who was removed from the program at the start of the 2017-18 season. Bell is a former friend of Pastner’s who became entangled in a divorce of friendship from Pastner and was later accused of extortion.

From the AJC:

The NCAA found that in November 2016 – six months after his hire to join Pastner’s staff – LaBarrie took a prospect on an official visit and a team member to a strip club, and both were provided with $300 cash, and also facilitated an improper recruiting contact with a person described in the notice as a representative of the school’s athletics interest. (All names in the report but LaBarrie’s and Bell’s were redacted.)

Further, the NCAA alleged that LaBarrie provided false or misleading information to the NCAA and institute regarding his knowledge and involvement of the violations alleged, attempted to influence the team member to provide false or misleading information and further tried to conceal his attempt to influence the team member.

While Tech contended that Bell was not a booster, the NCAA found that he was a representative of the school’s athletics interest, which makes the violations that he committed – paying for flights for former team members Josh Okogie and Tadric Jackson to visit him in Arizona – and his attempts to influence former Memphis player Markel Crawford to transfer to Tech while Crawford was still in school – actions taken on behalf of Tech.

With Pastner facing no charges in this investigation, he remains clear and in good standing both with the NCAA and his school. What’s unknown is what potential sanctions could come for Georgia Tech and when. The Notice of Allegations is the first part of this process. Georgia Tech will formally respond, and from there, the Committee on Infractions will ultimately make a ruling some months from now. 

LaBarrie could be hit with a show-cause penalty, which would stifle his ability to coach in the NCAA. 

Pastner has four years left on his contract and is 48-53 in three seasons at Georgia Tech. 





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