The NCAA infractions committee ruled today on the ASU baseball team, and the results aren't good: the Sun Devils have been put on probation through December 2013 and will be banned from postseason play in 2011. This is tough news for ASU fans who are used to seeing maroon and gold play in Omaha every June.
Much of this decision stems from the way the baseball team was run by former coach Pat Murphy, who was fired by the university in the fall of 2009 upon the discovery of his wrongdoing.
"The violations were the result of poor record keeping, failure to monitor and a cavalier attitude on the part of the former head baseball coach to NCAA regulations," the NCAA said in a statement Tuesday.
There are four areas in which the decision were based:
1) Violations stemming from poor record keeping
2) Making more than the permissible one phone call a week to recruits
3) The improper recruitment of one player
4) Use of student managers during practices
In response, ASU declared that it would appeal the decision of the NCAA.
"The university agrees it could have monitored -- and now does monitor -- the program more closely and for that reason it self-imposed significant sanctions, including vacating all wins during the 2007 baseball season, including a conference championship and College World Series games. However, many of the record keeping related violations were highly technical (some are not even violations under current NCAA rules) and one of the NCAA's added sanctions is unduly harsh under the circumstances.
"Thus, ASU intends to appeal the NCAA report because the university disagrees with some of the findings of fact and the characterization of some infractions as major rather than secondary. The university also intends to appeal the additional sanction of banning post-season baseball play in 2011, which punishes many student athletes and coaches who were not involved in the rules violations."
ASU cited the Pac-10 conference's 2009 compliance review as proof that they are a solid institution that plays by the rules. The appeal will be a very interesting case to watch unfold, considering the coach of the team was acting without the knowledge or consent of the institution.
The Sun Devils have already forfeited 44 of their 49 wins from 2007, self-imposing penalties upon the team for the trangressions. ASU believes that the ruling today went too far, but it remains to be seen what the final verdict will be on ASU baseball.