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Connecticut says men's basketball program committed major NCAA violations

NEWSWIRE

The school puts the program on two years of probation and cuts one scholarship, but it denies NCAA allegations that Coach Jim Calhoun failed to promote an atmosphere for compliance.

October 08, 2010|Wire reports

The University of Connecticut admitted its men's basketball program committed major NCAA recruiting violations and imposed its own sanctions, including two years of probation and the loss of one scholarship for the next two seasons.

But the school said the evidence does not support the NCAA's allegation that Coach Jim Calhoun, who has won two national titles with the Huskies, failed to promote an atmosphere for compliance. In a report released Friday, the school acknowledged its basketball staff made telephone calls and sent text messages that broke NCAA rules, as cited by the NCAA in a May report that followed a 15-month investigation. It also admitted that it improperly provided free game tickets to high school coaches and others.

A hearing is set for Oct. 15 before the NCAA infractions committee, which could accept Connecticut's decision or impose additional penalties.

"I am deeply disappointed the university is in this position," Connecticut President Philip E. Austin said in a statement. "It is clear mistakes have been made. This is a serious matter, and we have worked in full cooperation with the NCAA."

The allegations stem from the recruitment of former player Nate Miles, who was expelled from Connecticut in October 2008 before he played a game for the Huskies. He was charged with violating a restraining order in a case involving a woman who claimed he assaulted her.

The NCAA and the school have been investigating the program since shortly after a report by Yahoo Sports in March 2009 that Josh Nochimson, a former team manager, helped guide Miles to Connecticut, giving him lodging, transportation, meals and representation.

As a former team manager, Nochimson is considered a representative of Connecticut's athletic interests by the NCAA and is prohibited from having contact with Miles or giving him anything of value.

The school said it found that the basketball staff exchanged more than 1,400 calls and 1,100 text messages with Nochimson between June 2005 and December 2008.

CYCLING

Contador threatens lawsuits over doping allegations

Tour de France winner Alberto Contador threatened to sue various media outlets and websites for defamation after reports that his urine sample showed indications of possible blood doping.

In a statement issued by his spokesman, Jacinto Vidarte, the cyclist said he will "take legal actions against defamatory information published so far by various media and websites, due to their absolute lack of veracity."

He did not specify which media outlets or specify the allegations.

The three-time Tour de France champion was provisionally suspended by the international cycling federation last week after a small amount of the banned drug clenbuterol was discovered in one of his samples by a laboratory in Cologne, Germany.

Contador reiterated his claim that the positive test was caused by "food contamination" and vehemently denied speculation that he also engaged in blood transfusions during the race.

HOCKEY

Thrashers goalie Pavelec collapses on ice

Atlanta Thrashers goaltender Ondrej Pavelec was hospitalized after he collapsed on the ice and lost consciousness 2:25 into Friday's game against the visiting Washington Capitals.

He lay motionless for several minutes as trainers attended to him and eventually was taken off the ice on a stretcher. The team announced that preliminary tests at a hospital were negative and that he was awake and alert. He was to be kept overnight for observation.

Philadelphia Flyers goaltender Michael Leighton will have back surgery and is expected to sit out six to eight weeks. Leighton has a bulging disk in his back, and it was originally thought he could return by the end of the month. General Manager Paul Holmgren said Leighton will have surgery Monday.

Center Patrice Bergeron signed a three-year extension with the Boston Bruins that keeps him with the club through the 2013-14 season. Financial terms were not disclosed.

GOLF

Cochran shoots 64 at Senior Players

Buoyed by birdies on the first five holes, Russ Cochran shot a course-record six-under-par 64 and had a one-shot lead after two rounds at the Senior Players Championship at Potomac, Md.

Cochran is at six under for the tournament and is trying for his third win in his last four events on the Champions Tour. Cochran, who will turn 52 at the end of this month, is also trying for his first major victory.

Michael Allen remained in second place at five under after a second-round 67, and Mark O'Meara shot another 68 and was at four under. First-round leader Tom Kite followed his 67 with an even-par 70, leaving him in a tie with Jeff Sluman (67).

David Toms shot a four-under 66 and took a two-stroke lead over Joe Durant in the PGA Tour's McGladrey Classic at St. Simons Island, Ga.

Toms, coming off a first-round 64, had a 10-under 130 total on the Sea Island Club's Seaside Course, hitting 16 of 18 greens in regulation in the second round.

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