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SE Missouri basketball coach Smith resigns

CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo. -- Southeast Missouri women's coach B.J.
Smith resigned Wednesday after he was placed on paid leave last
month and did not coach this season.

The school and Smith said in a joint statement both sides have
decided "it is in his and the university's best interests that he
voluntarily resign from the university."

Athletic director Don Kaverman declined comment. He said in
November the leave was for personal reasons, but did not elaborate.

Calls to Smith's office phone were not answered.

The Redhawks were 2-3 entering Thursday's Ohio Valley Conference
opener at Tennessee State. Smith was in his fifth season at
Southeast Missouri. Assistant John Ishee has served as acting head
coach.

Under Smith, Southeast Missouri developed into an OVC power. The
Redhawks were 22-9 last season, tied for first during the regular
season and won the conference tournament to earn a spot in the NCAA
Tournament, where they lost to Stanford in the opening round.

Smith was 79-41 overall at Southeast, 51-17 in the OVC. But the
program has been under scrutiny since January over possible rules
violations. The investigation was initiated by university president
Kenneth Dobbins.

In June, the OVC cited violations in seven areas, including
inappropriate transportation for prospective players, inappropriate
lodging for prospective players before their enrollment and
violations regarding summer activities with prospective players.

The university imposed seven sanctions recommended in the
report, including a reduction in scholarships to 12 from 15 for
this school year. Results of the NCAA investigation have not been
announced.