Lopes' attorney may appeal NCAA decision

Updated: May 25, 2006, 9:36 PM ET
Associated Press

NORMAN, Okla. -- An attorney for former Fresno State coach Ray Lopes said Thursday he is considering appealing a second "show cause" order for recruiting violations dating back to Lopes' days as an assistant at Oklahoma.

Lopes received the order -- which requires him to appear before the NCAA infractions committee before seeking another coaching job -- as part of the NCAA Committee on Infractions' report on sanctions against Oklahoma for nearly 600 impermissible recruiting phone calls by coach Kelvin Sampson's staff.

Lopes was a member of that staff from 1995 to 2002 and made 165 of the calls. He is already under a "show cause" order until March 2008 as a result of 457 impermissible calls to recruits by his staff at Fresno State, including 234 by Lopes. The NCAA infractions committee issued a matching "show cause" order to run concurrently.

Oklahoma-based attorney Toby Baldwin said he was considering an appeal because the new order was "vague." He said the infractions committee did not associate any penalties with the order that would carry over if Lopes were to take another job at an NCAA school. Lopes resigned as the Bulldogs' coach in March 2005.

Baldwin also said that Lopes had banned himself for one year from coaching or contacting basketball prospects in person or over the phone but still received the order. Part of the NCAA's punishment against Sampson was a one-year ban on recruiting phone calls and off-campus visits.

"We have a question mark obviously regarding the penalties in comparison to the other coaches," Baldwin said.

"I think it's just a question of fairness," he added.

The NCAA determined Lopes broke bylaws by making too many calls to high school juniors, calling during the July evaluation period and calling prospects more than once per week -- similar violations to those at Fresno State.

Fresno State was placed on four years' probation as a result of the violations.


Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press