Ole Miss has fired two members of the women’s basketball staff and placed the head coach on administrative leave following violations that the school and NCAA are now looking deeper into. According to the school, the violations involve “impermissible recruiting contacts and academic misconduct.”
The two fired staff members, husband and wife Kenya and Michael Landers, were previously coaching at Trinity Valley Community College in Texas. At the same time Ole Miss announced the firings, the school also announced that two players on the team, Kay Caples and Brandy Broome, were both ruled ineligible for the 2012-13 season for failing to meet NCAA junior college transfer requirements. Caples played for the Landers at Trinity Valley.
Add it up and the most likely explanation is that both the academic misconduct and the recruiting violations involved the two players and getting them eligible. If that’s true, the recruiting violations could be explained by new NCAA Division I school coaches having to learn new rules. But that would not explain or excuse any violations related to the two transfers’ academic qualifications.
As far as what Ole Miss is facing, violations like this have the potential to turn into major infractions. While it is not a systematic problem, academic violations are always serious and getting two players eligible would be a “significant competitive advantage”, part of the definition of a major violation.