UWSP men's basketball on probation till 2023

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STEVENS POINT, Wis. (WSAW) -- The NCAA has completed its investigation into the UWSP men’s basketball program. The university held a press conference Tuesday to discuss the violations and penalties.

As NewsChannel 7 first reported in August 2016, the NCAA was investigating for alleged rule violations involving the men's basketball team practice times.

The committee found that over a five-year period the men’s coaching staff routinely observed, influenced and at times participated in sport-specific activities outside of the practice and playing season.

The violations occurred five days a week for five weeks each fall and spring. The report said the coaching staff distributed workout sheets detailing drills to be completed with space for the players to record performances. Head coach Bob Semling selected teams for scrimmages, and allowed assistant coaches to participate in the occasional scrimmages. The NCAA said the coaching staff also allowed recruits visiting the university to participate in these scrimmages.

The report states former athletic director Daron Montgomery was alerted by athletics staff members about the practices, but that Montgomery did not stop them.

During the ivestigation, Montgomery told the NCAA and UWSP that he did not know the men's basketball staff was involved in any violations. The NCAA said multiple individuals contradicted those statements, and that Montgomery worked in an area where the activities were easily observed.

NCAA found the violations gave the university an unfair competitive and recruiting advantage. As result the university will be on probation for four years and will have an audit of the athletic policies.

As part of their probation, the men's basketball program will not be allowed to hold any official recruiting visits during the probationary period, though the team has not done so since 2017.

Montgomery was given a three year show-cause order. Semling was given a two year one. Both will be required to take additional rules and ethics training.

Other self-imposed penalties included a three-day delay to practice to start the season, a $2,500 fine, a postseason ban during the 2016-17 season, and the suspension of Semling for the remainder of that same season.

The committed noted it could have enforced a stiffer penalty for Semling had UWSP not suspended him.

Current athletic director Brad Duckworth said Tuesday he was pleased to see the long investigation come to an end, and that he believed the NCAA took into account UWSP'S self reporting and self imposed sanctions when issuing new ones.

"It is important that you're self reporting, your transparent, your honest. I think the institution did a great job of that," Duckworth said. "I think that had a part in that. You'll be able to read in the report why maybe sanctions happened in other areas, but in terms of UW-Stevens Point I think our willingness to comply and transparency certainly played a part in this. We made mistakes. We've apologized for the mistakes we've made. This is now almost four years ago. We've significantly cleaned up gaps in our compliance and we're ready to move forward."