NCAA Accepts UNC Self-Imposed Penalties for Violations, Adds Others

December 15, 2017

The NCAA has notified the University of Northern Colorado that it will accept penalties imposed by the university for violations that occurred under the previous coaching staff of the men’s basketball program.

While the NCAA acknowledged UNC’s exemplary cooperation “exceeded expectations” and “set an example for all member institutions in its handling of this case,” which began after the university self-reported the incident in April 2016, the NCAA Committee on Infractions also imposed other penalties for academic misconduct.

The NCAA decision includes these penalties: 

  • Three years of probation from Dec. 15, 2017, to Dec. 14, 2020
  • A vacation of all regular-season, conference tournament and postseason records in which ineligible student-athletes competed. 
  • The NCAA also levied penalties on the former coaching staff in the form of show-cause order.

The NCAA also accepted UNC’s self-imposed penalties:

  • The university must return all money for its appearance in the 2011 Division I Men’s Basketball Championship (this replaces the self-imposed financial penalty.) 
  • A postseason ban for the 2016-17 men’s basketball season
  • Reduction of three total men’s basketball scholarships for the 2017-18 and 2018-19 academic years.
  • Recruiting restrictions, as detailed in the public decision. 

“We respect the NCAA’s decision and are disappointed that actions by members of a former coaching staff have led to consequences that have affected the entire program, past and present,” said Darren Dunn, UNC’s director of Athletics. “We remain committed to providing a great student-athlete experience while building champions for life. I’m excited about the future of our men’s basketball program.” 

In a memo sent to campus today UNC President Kay Norton said: “When we started this process, I pledged that regardless of what emerged from the investigation that we would take responsibility, do our best to make amends and move forward. With the leadership of head coach Jeff Linder, that’s what we’ve been doing and what we will continue to do.

Linder, who wasn’t at UNC when the NCAA violations occurred, said “our program has never used the circumstances levied on us to deter our attitude and forward direction over the course of the last 18 months.

“With the conclusion of the NCAA report, we will continue to focus on the bright future of our program; the development of our tremendous student-athletes, who have been impacted the most but who have never wavered in their commitment; and continue building trust with the community that has stood by our side.”


The NCAA news release and Committee on Infractions report are available at

UNC President Kay Norton’s memo to campus is available here.

Timeline of Process

April 21, 2016: UNC self-reports to the NCAA potential violations of men's basketball program.

Oct. 7, 2016: UNC announces self-imposed penalties that include a postseason ban for the program 2016-17 season, financial penalties, and restrictions on recruiting and future financial aid awards in the program.

Feb. 10, 2017: NCAA concludes investigation and provides written Notice of Allegations to UNC. President Norton updates campus.

February-Summer, 2017: The university and others involved in the case prepare and file responses to the Notice of Allegations.

Oct. 10, 2017: The university, enforcement staff, and others involved attend a scheduled hearing with the Committee on Infractions to review the case.

Dec. 15, 2017: The Committee on Infractions issues a decision based on its findings.