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Date Posted: Mon, November 08 2004, 9:16:12
Author: GBM
Subject: Trouble for McNeese

Associated Press
LAKE CHARLES, La. -- The McNeese State men's basketball program and men's and women's cross country and track and field programs apparently broke NCAA rules between 2000 and 2004, the school has reported.

The alleged violations include "secondary violations" in recruiting three basketball players and one track and field athlete, according to a news release about the report sent Friday to the NCAA.

School officials would not comment further about the investigation made for the school by the law firm of Bond, Schoeneck and King -- or what steps McNeese has taken to correct any problems.

The news release said coaches -- it didn't say in which sport or sports -- also watched improper out-of-season workouts. It again did not specify the sport when it said three coaches and three athletes had acted unethically by not being "completely forthcoming" to investigators.

It said a women's track and cross country athlete who shouldn't have received financial aid got some with the coach's knowledge.

Steve Baker, the head track coach at the time of the allegations a year ago, resigned and was replaced by Russ Buller.

Mens basketball coach Tic Price has said his staff would cut back on recruiting visits as a penalty. Assistant coach John Dillard resigned shortly after the investigation began.

Junior college transfer center Darris Manciel won't play in the season's first six regular season games. Bridget Martin, associate athletic director for compliance at McNeese, would not say whether that is due to a self-imposed sanction. Neither Price nor Manciel could be reached for comment Saturday.

Martin said it would be hard to guess how long it will take for the NCAA to respond.

"It'll be based on how many cases are ahead of us and how serious they think it is. It could be months before we hear from them, she said.

McNeese's last run-in with the NCAA was in 1999, when then-head football coach Kirby Bruchhaus resigned because of a gambling scandal. Basketball was on probation in the late-1980s for recruiting violations while Glenn Duhon was coach.

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