Sports Outside the Beltway

Harvard men’s basketball team to be investigated for recruiting violations

Say it ain’t so.

The Ivy League and Harvard will review whether recruiting violations were made by the Crimson men’s basketball program.

A story in The New York Times on Sunday chronicled, among other issues, recruiting efforts by a man who is now an assistant coach at Harvard, and how those efforts might have been in violation of NCAA rules.

“We’re going to do what needs to be done, and it’s going to be done in a timely way,” Jeff Orleans, the Ivy League executive director, told The Times for Wednesday’s editions.

Kenny Blakeney, the top assistant on coach Tommy Amaker’s staff, reportedly visited two recruits — Max Kenyi, a 6-foot-3 shooting guard from Washington, D.C., and Keith Wright, a 6-7 forward from Norfolk, Va., when in-person contact is not allowed.

Kenyi told The Times that Blakeney had played basketball with him in June or July 2007. Wright told The Times that Blakeney had visited him at one of his summer basketball team practices in Norfolk, saying, “He actually got to play with us, because he wasn’t actually on Harvard’s staff … He didn’t sign anything yet, so he got to play with us, and we talked and exchanged numbers.”

Harvard announced Blakeney’s hiring on July 2, 2007. In addition, visits such as Blakeney’s may still be a violation, according to NCAA spokesman Erik Christianson, because the rules state, “Should a coach recruit on behalf of a school but not be employed there, he or she is then considered a booster and that recruiting activity is not allowed.”

Should a school be punished for the actions of a coach before he worked for the school? Some NCAA rules seem silly to me.

A Ivy league school being investigated is not unheard of. A google search found this article on Brown. Learn something new every day.

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