NCAA may take second look at UNLV basketball ban

October 03, 1990|By Danny Robbins | Danny Robbins,Los Angeles Times

The NCAA Committee on Infractions will meet later this month to consider new information that could cause the body to alter its ruling barring the University of Nevada-Las Vegas from defending its NCAA basketball title.

The committee announced on July 20 that UNLV will be ineligible for postseason competition after the 1990-91 basketball season as a final penalty stemming from the infractions case that caused UNLV coach Jerry Tarkanian to take the NCAA to court 13 years ago.

Immediately after the ruling was announced, UNLV president Robert Maxson said the school would appeal, and its appeal and the Committee on Infractions' response were scheduled to be heard by the NCAA Council's Division I Steering Committee during the council's meeting next week in Kansas City, Mo.

However, the matter will not be heard by the council because of a request by UNLV officials to present unspecified new information to the Committee on Infractions, D. Alan Williams, the chairman of the six-member committee, said yesterday. The committee will hold a special meeting Oct. 28 in Chicago to consider that information.

The July ruling was a result of the committee's review of the 1977 infractions case in which the NCAA placed the UNLV basketball program on probation, with sanctions that included two-year bans on postseason competition and television appearances, and sought to have Tarkanian suspended.

When the NCAA ordered UNLV to "show cause" why the school shouldn't suspend Tarkanian for two years or be penalized further, he obtained injunctions in District Court in Las Vegas against UNLV and the NCAA that allowed him to stay in his job while the school served the penalties assessed against it.

The case went all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court, which ruled in favor of the NCAA in December 1988.

Last March, the two sides reached an agreement in which Tarkanian's injunction against UNLV was allowed to stand but that against the NCAA was lifted, allowing the Committee on Infractions to rule on the 1977 "show cause" order.

Speaking at a news conference yesterday, Maxson noted that the committee has made no promises that it will throw out the ban on postseason play, which Maxson has called unreasonable. But he said he believes the committee's willingness to study the matter again is a "clear signal" that the penalty might be changed.

However, Williams said the committee is simply allowing UNLV to present more information.

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