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Associated Press
Arizona Daily Wildcat
May 1, 1998

UCLA placed on probation


Associated Press
Arizona Daily Wildcat

Jim Harrick talks to reporters in the office of his attorney in Beverly Hills, Calif., in this Nov. 6, 1996 photo. UCLA was placed on three years probation yesterday for violating NCAA basketball recruiting rules and giving improper benefits to athletes when Harrick coached the Bruins.

LOS ANGELES (AP) - UCLA was placed on three years probation Thursday for violating NCAA basketball recruiting rules and giving improper benefits to athletes when Jim Harrick coached the Bruins.

The only tangible penalty is a reduction from 12 to six the number of official visits to the campus by recruits in 1998-99 and 1999-2000.

However, since the Bruins will have only one senior and one junior on scholarship next year, the penalty should have little impact. Over the last two years, UCLA has averaged 71/2 visits per year.

The Bruins remain eligible to compete in postseason play and appear on television.

Additional penalties were not imposed even though UCLA was placed on probation for three years in May 1997 for violations in the softball program.

The NCAA said violations in the basketball program occurred from 1993-95, before the softball violations occurred. The school was placed on probation until April 30, 2001.

"The infractions cited in the NCAA report occurred at least 17 months ago," UCLA athletic director Peter T. Dalis said in a statement issued by the school. "All of the infractions mentioned in this report were part of the Pacific-10 Conference's report.

"No new infractions were found during the NCAA investigation. In addition, the NCAA staff stated that the findings, only when assessed as a whole, not individually, constitute a major infractions case.

"It is important to point out that the infractions were self-reported by UCLA to the NCAA and that the university cooperated fully with the Pac-10 and NCAA."

David Swank, chairman of the NCAA Committee on Infractions, said the violations were worthy of more severe penalties had Harrick not been fired, and said as far as he knew, current coach Steve Lavin was not involved.

Harrick was fired Nov. 6, 1996, two weeks before the start of the 1996-97 season, for an alleged recruiting violation and lying about an expense account. Nineteen months earlier, he had coached UCLA to its first NCAA basketball title in 20 years.

He was hired by Rhode Island after not coaching during the 1996-97 season.

Harrick, cited for unethical conduct for lying to school officials during a UCLA investigation, was in West Virgina for a speaking engagement on Thursday and not immediately available for comment.

The NCAA said members of the UCLA coaching staff gave entertainment and other benefits to the coach of a club team in Los Angeles whose players included potential recruits.

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