The news of sanctions against the SMU Mustangs and head coach Larry Brown broke on Tuesday. The NCAA report handed down a financial penalty, a one-year ban on postseason competition, a loss of nine scholarships over the next three years and a nine-game ban for coach Brown.
The NCAA has been investigating the program for months. The news of the penalties came just weeks before the first practice of the new season.
Let's make one thing clear: There is no doubt Larry Brown can coach. That's why he is in the Basketball Hall of Fame. In terms of X's and O's and teaching the game, he is brilliant. But there is more to coaching than just the X's and O's.
I have a big problem when a coach puts three major schools on probation during his watch. It happened at UCLA, where he did a great job on the court.
This is America, the land of second chances, so after UCLA he got another opportunity to coach on the collegiate level. People make mistakes, after all. So he went to Kansas and won the national championship in 1988 with Danny Manning and the Miracles. Brown got people to understand how to play as a team, performing effectively and efficiently. But along the way, he got the Jayhawks, too, placed on probation.
From there, Brown went on to have an exceptional career coaching in the pros. He is the only man to win an NBA and NCAA championship as a head coach.
Later on, he got a third chance to coach at the college level, taking over struggling SMU. He built it back up, doing a phenomenal job revitalizing the program. He created excitement there, making Mustangs basketball games a destination for fans clamoring for success.
All along, there were problems galore. According to the NCAA report, Brown lied about whether he knew of any wrongdoing between a student-athlete and a former administrative assistant.
The NCAA said the head basketball coach failed to promote an atmosphere of compliance within his program. He failed to report the violations when the former administrative assistant committed academic fraud on behalf of the student-athlete, and Brown initially lied to enforcement staff about his knowledge of the potential violations.
He turned his back on the situation.
How many chances does one man deserve?
I think about what happened to Bruce Pearl at Tennessee. He lied about a recruiting visit at his home, which led to a three-year, show-cause penalty. Come on, now!
Brown got off lightly when you think about what Pearl went through.
Then there is Jim Boeheim. He was not accused of lying. He did not turn his back on the situation when academic fraud was brought up to him. He was not involved in the wrongdoing when a couple of athletes were given extra benefits for working at a YMCA. But he was penalized, along with being guilty, because the new rules say head coaches have to be accountable for their programs.
I am a big baseball fan. I believe going 3-for-3 in that sport is great.
Larry Brown is 3-for-3 in getting schools sanctioned. That should equal a ban from coaching on the collegiate level.