A school seeking to employ Jim Harrick, Jr. prior to April 2011 needed to decide if it wanted to, in essence, appeal Georgia’s case and try to fight the Committee on Infractions. A school that wishes to employ Bruce Pearl before August 2014 only needs to decide if they can handle having a basketball coach who cannot recruit until then.
The poster child for this new era of show-cause orders is current Kent State head men’s basketball coach Rob Senderoff. Senderoff was hired as an assistant by Kent State after he resigned from Indiana following the major infractions case under former head coach Kelvin Sampson. Kent State stood by Senderoff, retaining him despite Senderoff being prohibited from any recruiting until November 2009. Senderoff was promoted to head coach in April 2011, while still under recruiting restrictions in the show-cause order.
This was only possible because Kent State’s responsibilities under the show-cause were clear. If Kent State had been faced with an uncertain future, needing to appear before the Committee on Infractions and hope they do enough to avoid their own sanctions, it would have been much more difficult to retain and ultimately promote Senderoff. Instead, it became a simple question of whether he was worth having despite the recruiting restrictions and extra monitoring the school had to perform.
Which brings us back to the former Miami coaches and the allegations they will likely soon be facing. Miami’s case is a recruiting case, which means the penalties in any show-cause order will likely include severe restrictions or a complete ban on recruiting for some or all of the show-cause period. Bruce Pearl’s three-year ban and former Southern California football assistant Todd McNair’s one-year ban seem like the upper and lower ends of the range. Given the greater role of coaching suspensions in both the new and old enforcement program, they seem likely as well, although not the half- to full-season suspensions in the new penalty structure.
It will be up to each coach’s current employer to decide if they can keep him under the restrictions imposed by the Committee on Infractions, if any. One or more of the institutions may decide that the show-cause order is a scarlet letter, and decide not to keep the coach on principle. But that would be their decision, not the NCAA’s or the Committee on Infractions’, who have not treated show-cause orders that way for a number of years now.
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