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SBU men’s basketball faces sanctions

BOLVAR, Mo. (BP) — Hundreds of impermissible text messages have resulted in NCAA probation sanctions against Southwest Baptist University’s men’s basketball team.

SBU President C. Pat Taylor said the long-term future of the program and its head coach, Jeff Guiot, would not be impacted, but the short-term sanctions would be substantial. The NCAA released a statement about the sanctions May 23. The violations were discovered last summer, Taylor said, and were self-reported to the NCAA.

SBU athletic director Mike Pitts expressed sorrow over what happened, accepting responsibility for the Guiot-generated sanctions. Pitts also released the following statement:

“I’m sincerely very sorry that this situation occurred,” the athletic director said. “Coach Guiot has handled himself very openly and professionally during this difficult process. I would like to take this opportunity to express my support for Coach Guiot and his staff. All of us are very glad to put this situation behind us and move forward.”

Guiot, SBU’s head coach since 2004, committed recruiting violations that included sending too many “impermissible” text messages to student-athletes and parents and failing to promote an atmosphere for compliance, according to the finding of an NCAA committee. Guiot sent more than 450 text messages to prospective student-athletes and their parents, according to the NCAA. The time period in which the correspondence took place was not specified by the NCAA.

Penalties for the team include a year of probation ending May 22, 2013; a two-game conference suspension for Guiot for the upcoming basketball season; ethics training for Guiot and a curbing of his text messaging privileges; cutting men’s basketball scholarships from 10 to eight for the 2012-13 season; and eliminating off-campus recruiting for six months.

The NCAA passed a rule Jan. 14 allowing text messaging by coaches that took effect immediately. Before the rule passed, sending prospective student-athletes text messages was prohibited.

Guiot, a former player at the University of Kansas, coached SBU into the NCAA tournament in 2009 and to three Mid-America Intercollegiate Athletics Association regular season titles in the past five years.

The infractions committee on the NCAA Division II level includes representatives from Barry (Fla.) University, Northern Michigan University, East Stroudsburg (Pa.) University and Kentucky State University. Their investigation produced the final judgment.
Allen Palmeri is associate editor of The Pathway (www.mbcpathway.org), newsjournal of the Missouri Baptist Convention.

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  • Allen Palmeri