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Larry Krystkowiak, Utah men's basketball program sanctioned for recruiting violations

'The violations were unintentional'
Larry Krystkowiak
Posted at 11:59 AM, Aug 06, 2019

SALT LAKE CITY -- Larry Krystkowiak and the Utah men's basketball program have been sanctioned by the NCAA for recruiting violations.

According to a Division I Committee on Infractions panel, Utah's men's basketball program "conducted impermissible recruiting activities and the head coach failed to meet his responsibility to monitor his staff and promote rules compliance."

The sanctions do not include any firings, postseason bans or the loss of scholarships, but Utah is placed on two years of probation. The university self-imposed a $5,000 fine and recruiting restrictions, including a reduction in in-person recruiting days, a three-week ban on unofficial visits and a reduction in official visits. The committee originally proposed a two-game suspension for Krystkowiak, but that decision was reversed after a hearing where the committee "determined the violations were unintentional, limited and not indicative of systemic problems."

The recruiting violations occured in April 2018, according to the committee, when an assistant coach misapplied recruiting rules. The coach coordinated with a local community college to get a high school recruit on campus during a quiet period. Because the community college coach paid for the prospect's visit, the committee said that coach became a booster, making his contact with the prospect and visit to the university a violation of NCAA recruiting rules.

Krystkowiak "violated NCAA head coach control rules when he did not promote rules compliance and monitor his staff to ensure they were following the rules," according to the committee. Once Krystkowiak learned of the violations, he immediately reported the activities.

"While they were inadvertent and unintentional mistakes on our part, and there was never an intent to circumvent any rules, we accept that they were violations and, as the head coach, I am accountable for them," Krystkowiak said in a Utah media release. "I have always been a strong proponent of protecting the integrity of college basketball and that will not change."

Krystkowiak, who grew up in Missoula and Shelby, is set to enter his ninth season as the Utes' head coach and has led the program to 155 wins in his tenure and to postseason appearances in five of the past six seasons. He took over the Utah program in 2011 after previously coaching in the NCAA, CBA and NBA. He coached at his alma mater, the University of Montana, from 2004-06.

As a player with the Grizzlies from 1982-86, Krystkowiak became the only three-time Big Sky Conference MVP in league history. He set UM's all-time records in career points (2,017) and rebounds (1,105) before being selected in the second round of the 1986 NBA Draft by the Chicago Bulls. He played in the NBA for nine seasons, including stints with the Bulls, San Antonio Spurs, Milwaukee Bucks, Utah Jazz, Orlando Magic and Los Angeles Lakers.

The Utes are coming off a 17-14 season in which they compiled an 11-7 record in the Pac-12 Conference. Their 2019-20 season begins with an exhibition game on Oct. 30 and first regular-season game Nov. 5 at Nevada.