NORTHRIDGE (CNS) — The Cal State Northridge men’s basketball team was placed on three years’ probation, ordered to pay more than $5,000 in fines and will lose two scholarships in response to an investigation that found a former administrator provided unethical academic assistance to 10 players, the NCAA has announced.
The program was also given a one-year post-season ban, a penalty the university self-imposed on the program during the 2015-16 season, when the allegations arose. The Matadors ended that season with a record of 10-20.
According to the NCAA, the improprieties were committed by the former director of basketball operations, who was found to have submitted assignments and other course work for players in an online class, with some of the work apparently submitted from a computer at his parents’ house more than 70 miles from the university.
The former director, Lior Schwartzberg, denied any wrongdoing, but the NCAA’s Committee on Infractions “did not find him to be credible,” according to the association. The panel also concluded that the university failed to investigate and monitor his activities.
Schwartzberg, who is now a high school basketball coach, told the Los Angeles Times he was still reviewing the NCAA report, but said, “I deeply disagree with the decision and many of its facts.”
CSUN officials noted that they self-reported the allegations to the NCAA and opted to self-impose penalties.
“I am confident that the measures enacted since the violations were discovered, along with the leadership of (athletic director) Brandon Martin, put all of our student-athletes in a position to succeed in and out of the classroom,” CSUN President Dianne Harrison said.
“Self-reporting violations and self-imposing sanctions was the right thing to do, and it put the university in a position to move this program forward.”
The investigation found no wrongdoing on the part of basketball head coach Reggie Theus.
“All along, I’ve seen this incident as a learning opportunity for our student-athletes and a chance for the team to come together,” Theus said.
“The team is ready to continue to compete — on the court and in the classroom, and the future looks bright for these young men.”