November 29, 2022

Byte Class Update

Byte Class Technology & Sports Update

Memphis NCAA infractions case closed: Updates on where Kansas, Louisville, LSU, Arizona stand with IARP

The second of six infractions cases being resolved by the IARP, an independent review panel created in 2019 solely to review complex cases, was formally adjudicated on Tuesday as Memphis joined NC State in seeing its long and winding investigation come to a close. The Tigers program, which was under investigation and facing four Level I allegations and multiple Level II allegations stemming from violations centered around former No. 1 recruit James Wiseman, were instead hit with four Level II violations and five Level III violations after an extensive investigation by the panel.

Memphis faced significant consequences if its initial charges held — including potentially a postseason ban for the program and stiff penalties for Penny Hardaway — after Hardaway was charged with acting as a booster to secure the commitment of Wiseman. The hearing panel, though, determined that Hardaway’s previous philanthropic involvement within the Memphis community and the availability of his generosity to all Memphians, not just to student-athletes, made his financial involvement with Wiseman merely a continuation of his long-standing status as a booster and not an act of recruiting inducement.

Memphis does face some penalties as part of the IARP’s final decision — it will pay a fine, go on probation and vacate the wins it secured when Wiseman played — but it was by and large a slap love-tap on the wrist, and one that would seemingly bode well for the remaining schools waiting to hear final rulings from the panel.

There remains no timeline on when the final four schools will see their cases come to a close, but NCAA Vice President of Hearing Operations, Derrick Crawford, told the media on a call Tuesday that the four — Louisville, Arizona, Kansas and LSU — are on track to be resolved in “late spring, early summer of 2023.” Louisville and Arizona have completed their hearings while Kansas and LSU have not, suggesting they may be ahead in the queue. 

As we await those decisions, let’s run through the timelines as they currently stand — first with the resolved cases and then with those still open.

Resolved cases

Memphis

Rules violations have centered around former player James Wiseman

  • March 4, 2020: Request for referral of infractions case granted to IARP
  • Oct. 8, 2020: The first IARP activity in the case — The Complex Case Unit and Memphis submitted a request to amend the case management plan.
  • Feb. 19, 2021: The Complex Case Unit provided notification of completion of the investigation.
  • March 19, 2021: The chief panel member provides a status update letter. 
  • July 9, 2021: The Complex Case Unit submitted an amended notice of allegations.
  • August 27, 2021: Memphis submitted a request for reconsideration of the chief panel member’s response regarding compliance with operating procedures.
  • October 7, 2021: Memphis and coach Penny Hardaway submit responses to the amended notice of allegations.
  • April 22, 2022: The chief panel member conducts a hearing with Memphis, the Complex Case Unit and Penny Hardaway.
  • May 20 and May 21, 2022: The hearing panel conducts a hearing
  • September 27, 2022: Infractions decision released by IARP with Memphis placed on probation for three years, forced to vacate records in the three games Wiseman played in and fined $5,000, but avoided a postseason ban. 

NC State

The NCAA alleged payments to Dennis Smith were tied to former Wolfpack coaches, including head coach Mark Gottfried

  • May 18, 2020: Request for referral of infractions case granted to IARP 
  • Feb 1, 2021: Notice of allegations by Complex Case Unit amended and issued to NC State.
  • August 9-10 2021: The IARP hearing panel conducted a hearing.
  • December 20, 2021: Infractions decision released by IARP with NC State placed on one year of probation, issued a $5,000 fine and scholarship losses through 2022-23, plus some standard recruiting limitations. The team’s 15 wins that came while Smith played at NC State were vacated, but the Wolfpack also avoided a postseason ban.

Unresolved cases

Kansas

The NCAA alleged five Level I (major) violations against Kansas. Among them was a “head coach responsibility” charge against Bill Self and a charge of “lack of institutional control.”

  • July 1, 2020: Request for referral of infractions case granted to IARP
  • April 2, 2021: The first activity in the investigation — The chief panel member provided a response to joint motion to separate allegations and make an expedited determination regarding two allegations.
  • August 19, 2021: Bill Self requested an extension of the supplemental investigation period. The same day, Kansas submitted a request for clarification of requests to compel certain documents.
  • August 30, 2021: The Complex Case Unit responded to Kansas with “additional clarity” regarding investigative matters.
  • October 6, 2021: The Complex Case Unit submits a draft version of an amended notice of allegations.
  • November 3, 2021: Kansas submits additional information to support its request for “an alternative method of resolution” in the case. Big 12 commissioner Bob Bowlsby on the same day submits a letter outlining his support for Kansas’ request. (The chief panel member on November 29 provided a determination about that request but it is unclear what determination was made and whether an alternative method of resolution in the infractions case was granted.)
  • December 13, 2021: The Complex Case Unit submits a second amended notice of allegations.
  • March 30, 2022: The parties submitted correspondence about certain requests regarding the submission of an amended notice of allegations and requests related to document production, and the case management plan.

LSU

Possible recruiting violations by LSU under coach Will Wade are being investigated

  • Sep. 23, 2020: Request for referral of infractions case granted to IARP 
  • Feb. 16, 2021: The first activity in the investigation — The Complex Case Unit submitted a letter to counsel for the head men’s basketball coach regarding a discovery issue.
  • Sept. 23, 2021: The chief panel member issued a Resolution of Pre-hearing Procedural Issues.
  • March 7, 2022: LSU officially receives its notice of allegations issued by the Complex Case Unit.
  • March 12, 2022: Wade and associate head coach Bill Armstrong are fired by LSU for rules violations detailed in the NOA.
  • May 25, 2022: LSU, Wade and Armstrong request an extension of the deadline to complete their investigation.

Arizona

Former coach Sean Miller and and institutional control charge among five Level I (major) violations

  • Dec. 17, 2020: Request for referral of infractions case granted to IARP
  • March 5, 2021: Arizona receives notice of allegations detailing five Level I violations including an alleged Level I violation against Miller and an overall institutional control charge against the program
  • April 7, 2021: Arizona fires Miller after receiving NOA. 
  • July 14, 2021: The first activity by the IARP in the case — Arizona submitted a request for an extension of time.
  • Oct. 4, 2021: The Complex Case Unit amended and issued a notice of allegations to Arizona. 
  • March 4, 2022: IARP confirms Arizona submitted response to amended notice of allegations. 
  • May 25 and May 27, 2022: Chief Panel Member of IARP issues appearance letters for future hearings. 

Louisville

Charged with major NCAA violations regarding Brian Bowen under former basketball coach Rick Pitino

  • Feb. 19, 2021: Request for referral of infractions case granted to IARP
  • August 6, 2021: The Complex Case Unit submitted a letter notifying chief panel member that the investigation is complete.
  • Sept. 30, 2021: The Complex Case Unit issued amended notices of allegations which included new allegations made against former head coach Rick Pitino.
  • February 25, 2022: Louisville requests extension for submission of its response to the notice of allegations.
  • February 27, 2022: Louisville requests an alternative resolution to some of the allegations in the case.