- Associated Press - Tuesday, February 22, 2011

UConn coach Jim Calhoun was suspended by the NCAA for three games next season for recruiting violations committed under his watch, though the program dodged a major sanction when it was spared a postseason ban.

Calhoun was cited by the NCAA on Tuesday for failing to create an atmosphere of compliance within his program and was suspended for the first three Big East games during the 2011-12 season.

The NCAA also hit UConn with scholarship reductions for three academic years, recruiting restrictions, permanent disassociation of a booster and three years probation.

As a part of the disassociation of the booster, not named in the report, the university will not be able to accept financial contributions, recruiting assistance or provide him with any benefit and privileges.


“We think the penalty is appropriate,” said Dennis Thomas, chairman of the Committee on Infractions. “The head coach should be aware, but, also in the same frame, the head coach obviously cannot be aware of everything that goes on within the program. However, the head coach bears that responsibility.”

Thomas said Calhoun will serve the suspension next year because UConn can appeal the decision.

The NCAA and the school have been investigating the program since shortly after a report by Yahoo! Sports in March 2009 that former team manager Josh Nochimson helped guide recruit Nate Miles to Connecticut, giving him lodging, transportation, meals and representation.

As a former team manager, Nochimson is considered a representative of UConn’s athletic interests by the NCAA and prohibited from giving Miles anything of value.

“We cited the head coach for not being on top of these issues with the agent, the booster,” Thomas said. “The head coach stated that the booster was a member of the family during his days as team manager.”

The school said it found that the basketball staff exchanged more than 1,400 calls and 1,100 text messages with Nochimson between June 2005 and December 2008.

Members of the coaching staff also provided 32 impermissible complimentary tickets to individuals responsible for teaching or directing activities with prospective student-athletes.

Miles was expelled from UConn in October 2008 without ever playing for the Huskies.

Nochimson was attempting to become an NBA agent.

The school imposed sanctions on itself, including reducing scholarships from 13 to 12 for the 2010-11 and 2011-12 academic years. It also put itself on probation for two years.

The NCAA also tacked on scholarship reductions from 13 to 12 for 2012-13.

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