Arizona St. postseason ban upheld
TEMPE, Ariz. -- The NCAA on Friday upheld two major violations by Arizona State's baseball team and reduced a third to a secondary infraction.
Despite downgrading one violation, the NCAA Division I Infractions Appeals Committee announced Friday it will uphold penalties imposed last year, including the vacating of 44 wins from 2007, when the Sun Devils made it to the College World Series, and a postseason ban effective next season.
The NCAA ruled last year that former coach Pat Murphy, who resigned in 2009, failed to promote an atmosphere of compliance and committed numerous recruiting and other violations from 2004 to 2008.
Other penalties included the reduction of scholarships, along with limitations on recruiting and coaching activities during practice.
The appeals committee found the penalties justified because Arizona State is a repeat violator. It was the Sun Devils' ninth major infraction, most of any NCAA school.
Arizona State disagreed with the characterization of some infractions as major rather than secondary, and had appealed the postseason ban because it punishes players and coaches who were not involved in the violations.
The university also took issue with the report claiming it did not self-detect any of the violations, saying it ignores the fact that the school first reported and investigated most of the violations.
The report said Murphy and several assistants made more than 500 impermissible recruiting calls, including about 25 before the prospective student-athletes' junior year. The committee said it was hard to tell the precise number of impermissible calls because Murphy and his staff did not properly document recruiting calls.
The committee found Murphy violated several rules while recruiting one particular prospect by making impermissible calls and directing a team manager who used to coach at the student's two-year institution to recruit him, even though the manager was not an authorized recruiter for the school.
The committee also said Murphy asked four players to decrease all or a portion of their scholarships so it could be used for new or incoming student-athletes. Murphy also was ruled to have paid 20 baseball players more than $5,800 from his own nonprofit organization for work they did not perform.
Murphy spent 15 seasons at Arizona State, leading the Sun Devils to the College World Series four times. Last year, he signed to manage the Eugene Emeralds, a Class A team in the San Diego Padres' system.
Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press
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