LSU gets one year probation from NCAA

The NCAA Committee on Infractions accepted LSU's self-imposed sanctions in a case that centered on recruiting violations involving former junior college signee Akiem Hicks and former LSU assistant D.J. McCarthy.

During a conference call with the NCAA Committee on Infractions and the media Tuesday, committee chairman Dennis Thomas announced that LSU had committed "major violations" and has been put on one year probation. LSU also will have a 10 percent reduction in official recruiting visits during the 2011-12 and 2012-13 academic years, as well as a reduction of two initial scholarships for 2011-12 and two overall scholarships for 2010-11, which were self-imposed by LSU.

The investigation began after the university self-reported the violations to the NCAA enforcement staff. Thomas said the committee "commended" LSU for being so proactive and doing an "excellent job" of reporting the violations.

Hicks never played for LSU, and McCarthy resigned in December 2009.

The violations included excessive phone calls along with impermissible lodging and transportation. The committee found that McCarthy enlisted student workers to take actions he knew or should have known were violations, such as providing transportation and lodging during Hicks’ unofficial visit to LSU.

The committee also determined that McCarthy knowingly committed violations, then tried to hide the infractions by using a second phone to make impermissible phone calls to Hicks and failing to notify LSU's athletic department about the existence of the phone. McCarthy also was involved in a three-way telephone call with Hicks and a student worker, which resulted in the student worker providing a false story on the prospect’s summer living arrangements.

Additional violations occurred when three non-coaching staff members made or received more than 3,600 phone calls to or from high school coaches and administrators, prospects, and family members of prospective student-athletes.

LSU's cooperation saved the program from incurring any real major sanctions. It's safe to say these penalties won't have too much of an effect on LSU going forward. LSU's compliance staff covered all its bases with this case, which is a lesson to everyone, considering what happened to Georgia Tech.

Here is list of the sanctions:

  • Public reprimand and censure.

  • One year of probation from July 19, 2011, through July 18, 2012.

  • One-year show-cause order for the former assistant coach from July 19, 2011, through July 18, 2012. The public report further details these conditions.

  • A 10 percent reduction in official visits for football during the 2010-11 and 2011-12 academic years (2010-11 self-imposed by university; 2011-12 imposed by NCAA).

  • A reduction of two initial scholarships (for a total of 23) for the 2011-12 class (self-imposed by the university).

  • A reduction of two overall scholarships (for a total of 83) during the 2010-11 academic year (self-imposed by the university).

  • Recruiting telephone call restrictions as detailed in the public report (self-imposed by the university).