School violated rules under former coach

Updated: October 24, 2003, 9:24 PM ET
Associated Press

NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- Tennessee State was placed on three years' probation Friday by the NCAA for numerous rules violations under former coach Nolan Richardson III.

The school was cited for violating rules regarding tryouts, out-of-season practices, recruiting inducements, coaching staff limitations and ethical conduct. The probation does not affect the university's eligibility for the postseason.

The NCAA's committee on infractions said it was Tennessee State's second major infractions case in four years so the school was considered a repeat offender.

The university also will lose one scholarship next year and the year after. Its recruiting days will be cut for two years and there will be limited onsite visits by recruits.

TSU President James A. Hefner said that he was pleased with the "fairness of the process and the committee's decision" and that the school is committed to following the rules.

"We consider this responsibility to be absolute," he said.

Athletic director Teresa Phillips said TSU does not plan to appeal the decision.

Richardson resigned Jan. 8 while under investigation for a confrontation with an assistant coach during which he brought a pistol into the gym. Although taking a gun onto university property is a felony under state law, Richardson never was prosecuted.

Richardson, who had a 23-41 record in two-plus seasons in his first head coaching job, was made the subject of the NCAA's show-cause provision. That means any school that hires him within the next three years will have to convince the NCAA that his duties should not be restricted.

Tennessee State's football program was cited for infractions by the NCAA in 1999.

Copyright 2003 by The Associated Press