School violated rules under former coach

NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- Tennessee State was placed on three
years' probation Friday by the NCAA for numerous rules violations
under former coach Nolan Richardson III.

The school was cited for violating rules regarding tryouts,
out-of-season practices, recruiting inducements, coaching staff
limitations and ethical conduct. The probation does not affect the
university's eligibility for the postseason.

The NCAA's committee on infractions said it was Tennessee
State's second major infractions case in four years so the school
was considered a repeat offender.

The university also will lose one scholarship next year and the
year after. Its recruiting days will be cut for two years and there
will be limited onsite visits by recruits.

TSU President James A. Hefner said that he was pleased with the
"fairness of the process and the committee's decision" and that
the school is committed to following the rules.

"We consider this responsibility to be absolute," he said.

Athletic director Teresa Phillips said TSU does not plan to
appeal the decision.

Richardson resigned Jan. 8 while under investigation for a
confrontation with an assistant coach during which he brought a
pistol into the gym. Although taking a gun onto university property
is a felony under state law, Richardson never was prosecuted.

Richardson, who had a 23-41 record in two-plus seasons in his
first head coaching job, was made the subject of the NCAA's
show-cause provision. That means any school that hires him within
the next three years will have to convince the NCAA that his duties
should not be restricted.

Tennessee State's football program was cited for infractions by
the NCAA in 1999.