Secondary violations won't lead to punishment for Terps

Maryland basketball team broke rules by having administrator compile scouting reports

May 18, 2011|By Jeff Barker, The Baltimore Sun

Maryland committed secondary NCAA rules violations by allowing Joe Harrington to prepare scouting reports on men's basketball opponents a few seasons ago, but the school self-reported the matter and was not penalized, according to interviews with school officials.

The case covered portions of the 2008-09 and 2009-10 seasons — a period in which Harrington held an administrative post with the team but was not one of Maryland's three assistant coaches. Therefore, he was not permitted — at least initially — to be involved in scouting opponents by compiling video clips or performing related activities.

Maryland officials and others confirmed details of the case in response to inquiries.

The NCAA changed the rule in January 2010 to permit such non-coaching staff members to do scouting reports. By then, the school said, Harrington had already done scouting reports for the Gary Williams-coached team on eight occasions — five in 2008-09 and three the following season.

Maryland said it formally advised the NCAA of the matter on March 9.

"We did a self-investigation and we reported it," athletic director Kevin Anderson said in an interview.

Maryland said the NCAA responded in April, saying: "It is determined that the case should be classified as secondary and that no further action should be taken by the NCAA in the matter."

NCAA rules allow Maryland a head coach and three assistants. Staff members not classified as assistants are not supposed to be on the floor coaching. They can help arrange visits, but can't actually recruit.

Harrington's title was director of men's basketball student-athlete services. He often traveled with the team. He is a former head coach at Hofstra, George Mason, Long Beach State and Colorado.

Harrington — a former Maryland player and teammate of Gary Williams during the 1960s — was hired in 2007. He did not return to the post last season after having a falling out with Williams, multiple sources said.

The NCAA does not comment on secondary violations, spokesman Eric Christianson said Wednesday. Reached Wednesday, Harrington declined comment.

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