Monday, 25 March, 2019

Georgia Tech basketball accused of major NCAA violations

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Sidney Guerrero | 16 March, 2019, 07:54

The NCAA found that in November 2016 - six months after his hire to join Pastner's staff - LaBarrie took a prospect on an official visit and a team member to a strip club, and both were provided with $300 cash, and also facilitated an improper recruiting contact with a person described in the notice as a representative of the school's athletics interest.

The NCAA said LaBarrie's false statements about the violations and attempt to influence a team member to provide false statements also rank as top-level violations because they "involved failure of the responsibility to cooperate and unethical or dishonest conduct".

The booster and prospect in question - whose identities are redacted in the NCAA report - are former Georgia Tech standout and 13-year National Basketball Association veteran Jarrett Jack and current Chicago Bulls rookie Wendell Carter Jr. This news comes via a report from the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

According to Sugiura, Georgia Tech received a notice from the NCAA alleging that the association's enforcement staff found that two of LaBarrie's three allegations constitute severe breaches of conduct.

What does the NCAA claim LaBarrie did while a coach at Georgia Tech?

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LaBarrie was put on administrative leave in November 2017 and resigned the following February.

Georgia Tech coach Josh Pastner is not named nor held responsible for any of the violations detailed in the NCAA's findings. Bell's relationship with Pastner ended in 2016 when Bell's girlfriend accused Pastner of sexual assault (Bell later suggested the accusation was fabricated and Pastner was cleared in a Georgia Tech Title IX investigation).

Bell allegedly gave clothing, meals, and plane tickets to former Georgia Tech players Josh Okogie (now with the Minnesota Timberwolves) and Tadric Jackson, and also attempted to convince Memphis' Markel Crawford to transfer.

LaBarrie denied all charges, according to the Journal-Constitution. "The allegation outlines that Ron Bell, who is identified as a representative of Tech's athletics interests, provided and/or arranged approximately $2,424 impermissible benefits" to basketball players. He lives in Tucson and met Yellow Jackets coach Pastner while he was an assistant at Arizona, per ESPN. The NCAA labels two of the three allegations as being at the highest level of severity. Bell is also accused of providing $1,400 to those former players, and later trying to pay the potential transfer so he would attend Georgia Tech. He also reportedly bought flights for Crawford and his brother worth $883, but he canceled them when Crawford chose to transfer to Ole Miss. Current head coach Josh Pastner has not been charged with any violations, his attorney told the Journal-Constitution.

In a statement that accompanied the notice of allegations, most names were redacted.

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