The other shoe has dropped in Tempe.
The Arizona Republic reported today that former Arizona State coach Pat Murphy was forced out a day after the NCAA accused ASU of at least one major rule violation for failing to maintain control of its baseball program.
According to the Republic, Arizona State is accused of at least nine violations, including telephone-recruiting violations, impermissible coaching activities, employment of student athletes and relationships with outside contractors. The allegations are preliminary, and the school will have time to respond before the case goes before the NCAA’s Committee on Infractions in June. But the athletics program is already on probation for a 2005 violation by the football team, so a second major violation within five years could result in multiyear probation, suspension or termination of staff and ASU officials being banned from NCAA leadership positions for up to four years. The baseball program could face a prohibition of competition, including some or all postseason games, and elimination of scholarships and recruiting restrictions.
Murphy told the Republic he could not comment, on the advice of his lawyers.
“It is very frustrating that I am unable to set the record straight and state my side of the story,” he said.
ASU athletics director Lisa Love had told the Republic on Nov. 20 that Murphy resigned on his own initiative and his departure had nothing to do with the ongoing NCAA investigation, which began two years earlier.
Kudos to Robert Anglen and Jeff Metcalfe of the Republic for this fine piece of reporting. Finally, the circumstances surrounding Murphy’s abrupt resignation are coming into focus. It’s not a pretty picture for the Sun Devils.
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