The NCAA on Tuesday suspended Southern Methodist University head basketball coach Larry Brown for nine games and banned the team from the 2016 postseason.
ESPN’s Jeff Goodman first reported on the NCAA crackdown on the Mustangs men’s basketball team.
The punishment stems from allegations that an ex-assistant coach helped an academically at-risk athlete gain eligibility. The NCAA says Brown remained ignorant of the malfeasance, which explains the reasoning for the suspension. The overseeing body says the coach failed to exert control over his program.
Brown, who has coached for 30 percent of the NBA, attracted sanctions from the NCAA during coaching stints at UCLA and Kansas. In addition to removing Brown from the bench for nine games, SMU loses scholarships, recruiting days, and even sees limitations in how it can contact potential recruits.
SMU lost to UCLA in the second round of the NCAA tournament last season after winning the American Athletic Conference. They enter the 2015-2016 season as favorites to win the conference and return to the tournament. But Brown’s involuntary exile may alter expectations.
The harsh punishment comes 28 years after the NCAA meted out its “death penalty” to the SMU football team. That program never quite recovered, enjoying just three winning seasons since the punishment. The team boasted the highest winning percentage in D-1 football in the first five years of the 1980s when much of the malfeasance occurred.
Brown, 75, remains the only coach to win an NBA title and the NCAA tournament.