By Gerald Hopkins
On September 26 the NCAA released its sanctions on Georgia Tech’s basketball program due to former assistant coach Darryl LaBarrie’s recruiting violations.
This statement comes just 3 days after the University of Kansas’ basketball’s program received a notice of allegations from the NCAA about recruiting violations that involved Bill Self and Adidas representative TJ Gassnola. These sanctions for the George Tech Yellow Jackets come from a notice of allegations given to them on February 15 of this year.
The penalties given to head coach Josh Pastner and his squad include four years of probation, a postseason ban for the 2019- 2020 season, which includes the March Madness, NIT and the ACC tournament, a 5,000 fine plus 2% of the men’s basketball budget, a reduction of one men’s basketball scholarship during each year of probation, multiple different recruiting restrictions and finally a vacation of records in games where student-athletes mentioned in the notice of allegations competed while ineligible.
These penalties go to an already struggling Georgia Tech team who had a 14-18 season record and 6-12 record in ACC play last year. These penalties are two level 1 allegations toward former assistant coach Darryl LaBarrie, who was put on administrative leave from the program on November 22, 2017 and formally resigned from the program on February 6, 2018. There was also a level 2 allegation that was given to Georgia Tech after good friend of Pastner, Ron Bell who tried to lure players in with multiple bribes in the form of shoes, plane tickets, and even planning to have recruits and transfer students visit his house in Oro Valley, Arizona.
These sanctions will have a major impact on Georgia Tech, as the school already fights enough in a toughest basketball conference in my opinion, which is the ACC. LaBarrie had brought two major recruits to an Atlanta strip club, gave them both $300 in cash and payed for food and other charges at the strip club. LaBarrie also lied to NCAA investigators about his involvement in taking these two recruits to the Atlanta strip club, and even tried to tell others who were being investigated to lie so that his story would not contradict the statements he first made.
One of the major questions that people have after these allegations is about how this will affect the Kansas program, who just received a notice of allegations on September 23 of this year. Josh Neighbors, the host of the No Huddle talk show on KCOU and former sports director for KCOU stated during his show: “It is not a judicial system when it comes to penalizing teams and programs. . . what the NCAA values is the ability to unilaterally what your punishment is as a program. . . The NCAA will pick out specific details that differentiate each case from each other.”
This statement by Josh Neighbors is very important to understand how the NCAA will work with University of Kansas in the future. Some of the major differences in these two cases include that University of Kansas and Bill Self were hit with “lack of institutional control” and the University of Kansas notice of allegations had multiple references of Bill Self knowing of the actions of TJ Gassnola and Jim Gatto took. In the Georgia Tech report, Josh Pastner is not referenced at all, and Georgia Tech was not given a “lack of institutional control.”
The most intersesting thing to me about this Georgia Tech case was the fifth point about LaBarrie when they describe him in his “Involved Individual” section. The fifth point states: “The institution declared Moore ineligible and suspended him for two games as a result of his involvement in Allegation No.1. Shortly following his suspension, Moore discontinued participation with the basketball team and withdrew from the institution. Moore did not enroll at another institution for the 2018- 19 academic year.”
After doing research, I can confirm that this is Justin Moore, who was a backup sophomore point guard for the Yellow Jackets. I couldn’t find more about him, other than he said he was leaving Georgia Tech as he wanted to go to a school closer to home in California. While all the allegations and acts that LaBarrie did, this one I felt was the saddest of them all. Because of this, Moore is now without a team and may have forfeited his entire career because he took bribes from LaBarrie. While Labarrie’s actions may have put him out of a job, he atleast has money to sit on from coaching, while Moore as a student- athlete lost not only his chance at a degree from Georgia Tech, but his college carrer may be lost as well, and that is one of the deeper issues from this investigation.
Overall, this case is one of the many that help us understand the dirt and black market that the NCAA has within itself. These deep-rooted issues in how the system works and the lack of control that the NCAA has over its subjects is saddening and deplorable. The NCAA has a corruption problem, and Georgia Tech is not the end, it’s just the beginning.
Edited by Emma Moloney | firstname.lastname@example.org