The Southern Miss men's basketball program is under investigation for potential rules violations under former head coach Donnie Tyndall, according to Bleacher Report.
The report cites an unidentified source within the program as saying that the NCAA's investigation is focused on financial support received by Prop 48 recruits that signed with USM, but were not academically eligible to start competing immediately for the program.
“The university is working together with the NCAA to review potential issues related to our men’s basketball program,” USM athletic director Bill McGillis said in a press release. “In order to maintain the integrity of our joint process, and pursuant to NCAA policy, we cannot comment further regarding any details of our review at this time.”
According to Bleacher Report, these players weren't on scholarship, lived off campus and worked toward gaining the necessary academic credits to make them eligible for the next season. This is the usual practice under NCAA Proposition 48 rules.
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The extra financial support that these players received is what the NCAA is concerned about.
The NCAA has been on campus the last two weeks interviewing players and administration as part of the investigation.
Bleacher Report pointed to Matt Bingaya, Davon Hayes and Shadell Millinghaus as current USM players who joined the program under Proposition 48 rules. All three are eligible to play this season.
Tyndall, who had two successful seasons at USM, left in April to take over the Tennessee basketball program.
Tyndall was quizzed about the report by Tennessee media on Thursday, but he did not go into specifics about the case.
“First of all I’m sure most of you have questions about the NCAA deal at Southern Miss,” Tyndall told the Knoxville News-Sentinel. “All I’m going to say and can say is, if I’m asked to cooperate I will cooperate 100 percent. And that’s all I will say and can say about it at this time.”
He was replaced by former UTEP and Nebraska head coach Doc Sadler.
The Golden Eagles host Mississippi College at 7 p.m. today in an exhibition contest.