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NCAA alleges lack of control

12/19/2009

PHOENIX -- The NCAA is accusing Arizona State of a "lack of institutional control" of the baseball program, citing allegations that include impermissible recruiting phone calls and a failure to monitor baseball staff members.

The Arizona Republic reported Thursday that the university last month received a notice of the allegations. The case is not expected to be heard by the NCAA infractions committee until next summer.

The newspaper reported that the university received a notice from the NCAA on Nov. 19, one day before coach Pat Murphy announced his resignation.

According to the newspaper, allegations by the NCAA include impermissible phone calls being made and failure to monitor baseball staff members.

ASU spokesman Virgil Renzulli said the school was working with the NCAA on the investigation and that it did not know when it would be complete or when results would be released.

"We have an unyielding commitment to rules compliance," Renzulli said in an e-mail to The Associated Press. "We adhere to policies that govern fair play, and when called into question, have embarked on self-evaluation to determine both the facts of the matter and, if necessary, corrective action."

Murphy's 15-year run at the perennial baseball powerhouse ended abruptly when the university announced his resignation on Nov. 20. In an interview that day, athletic director Lisa Love called it "an amicable parting dictated by Pat," but it has since been revealed that the university forced Murphy to resign or be fired.

The Republic on Saturday detailed the NCAA's 19-page notice of allegations, reporting that the program made 500 impermissible recruiting phone calls. According to the notice, Murphy is directly accused of making recruiting calls that violated rules and led one prospect to rescind a verbal commitment to another school and sign at Arizona State.

"While I can't discuss the NCAA investigation, I can say that any mistakes were inadvertent and unintentional," Murphy said Friday, according to the newspaper.

According to the report, the NCAA also alleged that Arizona State players received impermissible benefits -- including free use of the Athletes' Performance facility -- and that as many as 19 players were paid unearned wages by Murphy's non-profit Programs for Youth foundation.

In 2005, the NCAA placed ASU on two years' probation, citing the football program for a lack of institutional control, unethical conduct and impermissible benefits. It was the eighth time since 1953 that the NCAA had found the school guilty of major infractions.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.