NCAA puts Radford on 2-year probation
The NCAA placed Radford University's athletic programs on probation for two years for rules violations in men's basketball and tennis and imposed heavy sanctions on four coaches for misleading investigators.
The hardest hit was former men's basketball coach Brad Greenberg for his role during the probe. The school also lost two men's basketball scholarships over the next two years among other sanctions.
The case initially centered on recruiting inducements and extra benefits provided by four former coaches and one who remains on staff. However, the seriousness of the major violations were exacerbated by a Greenberg-led effort to mislead investigators.
Britton Banowsky, chair of the Division I Committee on Infractions, said during a teleconference Friday that the coaches also encouraged a student-athlete to lie to investigators.
That, Banowski said, "is completely counter to a coach's responsibility to educate student-athletes in their program."
"This case affirms the importance of hiring head coaches committed to following the rules, because the tone they set for their programs is the single most important element in assuring program integrity and rules compliance," the committee wrote in its 44-page report.
In a statement, Radford said it is "extremely disappointed and embarrassed" by the violations committed by its former coaches.
The school has implemented a detailed series of corrective measures to protect against the reoccurrence of this type of compliance issue, the statement said, and "remains committed to the ideals of integrity and fair play that are embodied in NCAA competition."
The violations committed included providing impermissible benefits to several men's basketball players, two men's tennis players and to a player that was being recruited, according to the report. The benefits included transportation, food and lodging, often provided by assistant coaches.
Greenberg, who quit at the end of the 2010-11 season and no longer works at the college level, was given a five-year, show-cause sanction and banned from doing any recruiting during that period. The sanctions, similar to those handed to former Ohio State football coach Jim Tressell after the Buckeyes' NCAA infractions scandal last year, almost preclude Greenberg from working as a college coach during the next five years
Greenberg, the brother of Virginia Tech men's coach Seth Greenberg, has prior experience as an NBA assistant coach, director of player personnel and general manager, and is now working as an assistant coach with the Venezuelan men's national team.
Three assistants at the time received two-year sanctions and are banned from off-campus recruiting during that time.
While rebuking the coaches, Banowski commended Radford for its cooperation during the investigation. The university, which suspended Greenberg for the final four games of the 2010-11 season, also self-imposed several other sanctions in advance of the committee's ruling.
Additional penalties handed down Friday include a public reprimand and censure to Radford, the removal of two paid recruiting visits next season, the vacating of four victories earned with an ineligible player during the 2010-11 season, and a $2,000 fine.
Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press