GREELEY, Colo. (CBS4) – The University of Northern Colorado was hit with several penalties by the NCAA, after a confidential informant revealed former head coach BJ Hill, and other men’s basketball staff members, were committing academic fraud.
The university said Hill started the fraud after feeling a need to perform as well as former head coach Tad Boyle, who left for the University of Colorado.
In an interview with CBS4’s Dillon Thomas, UNC President Kay Norton said the university turned themselves in for investigation, upon learning of the fraud.
“As soon as we determined there seemed to be credibility to the allegations, we called in the NCAA,” Norton said.
According to the NCAA, Hill’s staff was improperly recruiting.
In order to recruit talent that did not meet academic requirements, Hill was signing up for online education courses, and completing them himself. Nine of his staff members were also involved, according to the investigation.
“It was academic fraud,” Norton said.
The NCAA’s investigation took more than a year to complete. While waiting for the results, the university took action in punishing their program.
UNC fired Hill, and the staff members involved. They also imposed a post season ban on the 2016-2017 season.
However, the NCAA announced Friday further penalties, including a revocation of the school’s 2011 conference title. They were also fined, given scholarship restrictions, among other penalties.
The staff members involved were also given penalties, which restrict their ability to obtain jobs within the NCAA.
Norton said the university would never condone academic cheating, especially for the livelihood of the basketball team, which is why they self-reported the issue.
“That is where things went wrong here at UNC,” Norton said. ”When coaches thought the only thing that mattered, was winning.”
Only one individual from the violation period remained at the university at the time of this report. Norton said that person was a current player on the team.
Dillon Thomas is a reporter at CBS4 and a Colorado native. He believes everyone has a story, and would love to share yours! You can find more of his stories by following him on Twitter, @DillonMThomas.