For the second consecutive season, Southern Miss will face a self-imposed postseason ban due to an ongoing NCAA investigation centered around former head coach, Donnie Tyndall.
Last season, Athletic Director Bill McGillis announced on Jan. 20 that the program would have a self-imposed ban, keeping the Golden Eagles from participating in postseason play. On July 22, the program received a notice of allegations from the NCAA, many of those violations stem from academic fraud.
Tyndall’s tenure dated from April 2012 to April 2014. Previously reported in The Student Printz, the alleged violations range from how non-scholarship athletes paid for tuition and living expenses, along with potential academic improprieties.
Tyndall left Southern Miss for Tennessee in the summer of 2014, but was fired by the Volunteers after just one season at the helm as a result of the investigation.
Among the allegations, the NCAA alleges that two former assistant coaches traveled to complete online coursework for prospective student-athletes.
A Level I violation, it took place between June 2012 andMay2014. Five of the seven prospective student- athletes ended up playing at Southern Miss.
The NCAA also claims Tyndall has failed to cooperate with the investigation. The notice said “the former coach went as far as to obstruct the investigation by deleting pertinent emails and providing false or misleading information to enforcement staffers.”
McGillis issued a statement after making the decision to withhold the program from postseason competition.
“I am very disappointed for the current members of our men’s basketball team and coaching staff, none of whom were involved in any alleged violation of NCAA rules. While excruciating due to the impact on the young men in our program today, the decision to withhold our team from postseason competition following the 2015-2016 season is appropriate given the findings of the recent university and NCAA review of our program.”
Completion of the investigation is not expected until mid- spring 2016.
During media day, head coach Doc Sadler touched on the possibility of players redshirting this season for academic advancement opportunities.
As a result of the ban, returners senior Norville Carey and sophomore Kevin Holland are considering redshirting this season. If Carey and Holland choose to redshirt, sophomore Kelvin Blevins would be the only returning player that received significant playing time for the Golden Eagles last season.
The Golden Eagles open their season at Memphis on Nov. 14 at 7 p.m.