WACO, Texas — The NCAA put Baylor on three years of probation Wednesday after an investigation turned up hundreds of impermissible telephone calls and text messages sent to prep recruits by coaches and assistants on the basketball teams.
The violations were considered to be major infractions, and they were announced less than a week after the Lady Bears won the national title with the first 40-0 season in NCAA history.
All of the penalties were proposed by the school and accepted by the NCAA after a review of nearly 900,000 phone and text message records found that 738 texts and 528 calls were against the rules.
The NCAA said men’s coach Scott Drew failed to monitor his program and will be suspended for two Big 12 games next season, in addition to recruiting restrictions. Women’s coach Kim Mulkey also received recruiting restrictions.
“I believe strongly in following NCAA rules and will always try to do so in the future,” Mulkey said in a statement released by the school. “I do nothing without permission from our compliance office and will continue to ask questions to assure that things are done right. Any compliance-related mistakes, even those that are secondary, are disappointing. The majority of mistakes in this matter were errors in sending text messages and failure to accurately document our phone calls.”
Besides Baylor’s win over Notre Dame for the women’s title, Drew’s team won a school-record 30 games and reached the NCAA regional finals, where the Bears lost to eventual national champion Kentucky.
Mulkey was named the AP’s Coach of the Year and junior Brittney Griner was its player of the year. How Baylor recruited Griner, one of the most dominant women’s players in college basketball history, was reportedly part of the NCAA probe.
A school report obtained by ESPN.com said Mulkey and her staff committed minor NCAA violations for having impermissible contact with Griner and her family during a 2007 camp.
Mulkey also reportedly broke NCAA rules when she sat next to Griner’s father and discussed what the Baylor experience would be like.
Besides keeping Mulkey off the recruiting trail in July, one of her assistants has been barred from making recruiting calls from January through April. The school also reduced its women’s basketball scholarships from 15 to 13 in 2011-12.
On the men’s side, recruiting visits were trimmed and Drew lost a scholarship this past season and in 2012-13. In addition, a former coach faces a one-year “show cause” order that effectively prevents him from coaching at an NCAA school.