- Associated Press - Friday, May 2, 2014

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) - The NCAA has placed the University of Alaska Anchorage women’s basketball team on two years of probation after confirming that a former coach and his volunteer assistant paid two players.

UAA Chancellor Tom Case and athletic director Keith Hackett announced the penalties Friday at the conclusion of an 18-month investigation that confirmed former coach Tim Moser and assistant coach Elisha Harris had conspired to deposit money into accounts of two players.

“This was a terrible mistake by two individuals,” Case said.

The violations were self-reported. Moser resigned unexpectedly in May 2012 and was hired as assistant coach at Colorado State University, a Division I school.

In a statement issued by CSU, Moser apologized and acknowledged his error in providing money to cover two players’ housing costs.

“I exercised poor judgment in my honest desire to fulfill what had been promised to two student-athletes,” he said. “The choice I made was wrong, and I fully accept responsibility for having made that decision.”

The two players were not identified.

Moser was head coach at UAA for six seasons during one of the team’s most successful runs in school history. His 165-32 record - a winning percentage of .838 - was the highest among active NCAA Division II women’s coaches when he resigned.

He led the team to the NCAA Division II post season tournament in all six seasons.

Irregularities were discovered when one of the players who thought she was on a full scholarship was sent a bill for an expense, UAA officials said. She learned she was on partial scholarship but that previous bills had been covered by non-university money.

The payments to her and the second player added up to about $7,000.

The violations occurred only in the 2011-12 season, according to the UAA officials.

The statement from Colorado State said Moser had been reprimanded, denied a raise for last season and suspended for three games. He is completing an ethics training class at his own expense, CSU said. The NCAA suspended him for the first three conference games next year.

Case called the UAA sanctions “severe” and said some may be appealed. However, the Anchorage team will continue to be eligible for post-season play and were fined just $5,000.

Besides a public reprimand and censure, the Seawolves will lose a fraction of one of its 10 scholarships for the 2015-2016 season. Fifteen victories from the 2011-2012 season will be counted as losses.

Probation began Friday. Additional violations during probation would likely result in far more harsh penalties.

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