NCAA places Dana Altman’s Oregon basketball program on two years probation

NCAA places Dana Altman’s Oregon basketball program on two years probation
Oregon is 4-3 this season and has lost two straight games. THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

The NCAA imposed two years of probation on the Oregon men’s basketball program led by Nebraska native and former Creighton coach Dana Altman. The NCAA also issued the same penalty on the school’s women’s basketball and track and field teams.

The NCAA found Altman failed to properly monitor his director of basketball operations, Josh Jameison, who took part in or observed at least 64 individual voluntary workouts in violation of NCAA rules. Jameison was suspended by Altman for one month and must attend NCAA rules seminars for the next two years. The Ducks must also reduce the number of coaches at a regular practice by five hours this season.

Altman, who coached Creighton from 1994-2010, is in his ninth season at Oregon and led the Ducks to the Final Four in 2017.

The stiffest penalties were issued Wednesday on the women’s basketball team. The NCAA said coach Kelly Graves failed to “monitor and promote an atmosphere of compliance in his program.” He must serve a two-game suspension this season. The team is 7-0 and ranked No. 3 in the country.

That infraction stemmed from an assistant strength coach’s participation in on-court activities during and after practices, which caused the team to exceed the number of allowable coaches.

Also, the NCAA said an adjunct instructor changed a grade for a track and field athlete, allowing the competitor to remain eligible.

The decision said the football program improperly used an electronic reader board in the team’s facilities for recruiting purposes. The team immediately stopped after being told it may be out of compliance.

Oregon received notice of the allegations last December. At that time, the university said it self-reported the infractions and acknowledged that they occurred, but disagreed with the level that the NCAA assigned to some of them, including the charges involving the head coaches. Oregon said it had already taken steps to address the issues.

“I regret that some members of my staff made errors of judgment, and I have taken actions to ensure that it doesn’t happen again,” Graves said in a statement when the university received notice. “I am steadfastly committed to building a winning program at the UO that operates in full compliance with NCAA bylaws and is committed to the highest levels of integrity.”

The school said the faculty member changed the grade of the track athlete from failing to passing contingent on the athlete completing the work. The university removed the athlete from competition and reported the violation to the NCAA, which determined it was an impermissible academic benefit.

The name of the athlete was not made public by the NCAA. All records in which the athlete participated in while ineligible must be vacated.

In addition to the probation and Graves’ suspension, the women’s must reduce the number of coaches at a regular practice by five hours this season. The school was also fined $5,000 plus 1 percent of the men’s and women’s basketball budgets.

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