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Mark Schlabach, ESPN Senior Writer 7d

Strip club visit at center of Georgia Tech probe

Men's College Basketball, NBA, Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets, Chicago Bulls

A former Georgia Tech assistant coach is being charged by the NCAA with Level I violations relating to an Atlanta strip club visit that sources told ESPN included current Chicago Bulls rookie Wendell Carter Jr. and former Georgia Tech and NBA player Jarrett Jack.

Jack, whom the NCAA declared to be a representative of Georgia Tech's athletics interests, is alleged to have provided Carter and an unidentified then-Georgia Tech player with $300 for the strip club visit, the sources told ESPN.

The NCAA has notified Georgia Tech officials that the former assistant, Darryl LaBarrie; a booster the sources identified to ESPN as Jack; and Ron Bell, a former friend of Yellow Jackets basketball coach Josh Pastner, are being charged with multiple alleged rules violations, including Level I violations, which are the most serious under NCAA rules.

Georgia Tech publicly released a redacted version of the NCAA's notice of allegations on Friday and said in a statement it "will not have further comment at this time."

The school has until May 16 to respond to the NCAA's allegations.

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution first reported details of the notice.

Sources told ESPN on Thursday night that Georgia Tech has not been charged with lack of institutional control, and Pastner has not been charged with failure to promote an atmosphere of compliance nor failure to monitor his staff.

"Josh cooperated fully with the NCAA investigation and he has not been charged with any violations," Pastner's attorney, Scott Tompsett, told ESPN in a statement.

Jack, a 13-year NBA veteran, has not played this season after being released by the New Orleans Pelicans in October. Jack had signed with New Orleans a week before training camp.

LaBarrie is charged with offering impermissible recruiting benefits as well as failure to cooperate and unethical and dishonest conduct. LaBarrie is accused of providing false and misleading information to NCAA investigators and Georgia Tech officials regarding his knowledge of the alleged incident. He also is accused of trying to influence the player to provide misleading information to investigators.

LaBarrie was put on administrative leave in November 2017 and resigned later that season.

The NCAA also declared Bell, a resident of Tucson, Arizona, as a booster of Georgia Tech's athletic interests, despite objections from university officials.

Bell, who met Pastner while he was an assistant coach at Arizona, was charged in the notice with offering impermissible recruiting violations after he allegedly paid for airline tickets for former Georgia Tech players Josh Okogie and Tadric Jackson to fly to Arizona. He also allegedly attempted to influence former Memphis player Markel Crawford to transfer to Tech.

The NCAA determined that Bell gave Okogie and Jackson sneakers, clothing, meals and travel expenses worth more than $1,400.

Bell and his girlfriend, Jennifer Pendley, accused Pastner of sexually assaulting Pendley in a Houston hotel room in February 2016 and of harassing her at other times.

Bell suggested in recorded jailhouse conversations that the couple fabricated the allegations, according to a court filing by Pastner's attorneys in July 2018.

In January 2018, Pastner filed a civil suit against Bell and Pendley in Superior Court in Pima County, Arizona, alleging they were trying to extort and blackmail him by threatening to release false allegations about him to the media, Georgia Tech and the NCAA. Bell and Pendley filed a countersuit in February 2018.

Pastner and his attorneys have denied the allegations, and a Title IX investigation conducted by attorneys hired by Georgia Tech cleared Pastner in the matter in June 2018.

This will be the third time Georgia Tech's athletic department appears before the NCAA infractions committee since 2011.

In 2014, the Yellow Jackets were charged with failing to monitor their sports programs to ensure coaches followed their rules. The NCAA alleged that coaches from nine sports placed 478 impermissible phone calls and sent at least 299 impermissible text messages to recruits between March 2011 and March 2012.

According to the NCAA, coaches in football and basketball started making the calls only three days after Tech appeared in front of the infractions committee in a separate case involving violations in the football and men's basketball programs.

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