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USF men's basketball gets off lightly with NCAA

Former USF men's basketball coach Orlando Antigua, center, with former assistants Oliver Antigua, left, and Rod Strickland during a game at the Sun Dome on Nov. 9, 2015. (Octavio Jones, Times)

Former USF men's basketball coach Orlando Antigua, center, with former assistants Oliver Antigua, left, and Rod Strickland during a game at the Sun Dome on Nov. 9, 2015. (Octavio Jones, Times)

TAMPA — The NCAA's 18-month probe into USF's men's basketball program has ended with the Bulls — proactive in the investigation from the start — avoiding major penalties.

The NCAA announced Tuesday its Division I Committee on Infractions (COI) panel determined former Bulls assistant Oliver Antigua knowingly violated its rules by providing prospects with impermissible housing, transportation and meals, then denying his involvement twice before coming clean.

As a result, the panel prescribed USF to receive a public reprimand and censure, and accepted the penalties USF already has imposed on itself: the reduction of one scholarship for 2016-17, withholding one coach from off-campus recruiting for 50 days, and a $5,000 fine.

RELATED: NCAA: Former USF basketball assistant gave improper benefits

Addtionally, Oliver Antigua, younger brother of former Bulls coach Orlando Antigua, has been leveled with a two-year show-cause penalty from Sept. 19, 2017 to Sept. 18, 2019.

During that time, any NCAA school that employs him must prohibit him from all coaching activites during the first year of the show-cause period, and require him to receive regular rules education during the two years.

Oliver Antigua, never mentioned by name in the report, resigned in July 2016, as news of the probe broke. Orlando Antigua was dismissed Jan. 3

USF released the following statement Tuesday:

"USF is pleased that the NCAA announced its completion of a 2016 inquiry into its men's basketball program. After conducting a thorough and cooperative process, the NCAA agreed that USF's self-imposed corrective actions implemented during 2016 were sufficient. We are grateful for the professionalism and cooperation shown by the NCAA and we are ready to move forward."

This final decision from the COI comes nearly four months after the NCAA released its Summary Disposition Report (SDR) on the case.

The SDR indicated Antigua provided the benefits (not totaling more than $511) while the recruits were being tutored at USF's College of Medicine by the sister-in-law of Gerald Gillion, then special assistant to Orlando Antigua.

Tuesday's COI decision states: "Specifically, the former assistant coach knowingly provided the then-prospective student-athletes two nights of hotel lodging ($185 value), two to five nights of lodging at the former assistant coach's home ($73-$182 value), seven meals each ($112 value) and local transportation ($32 value), with the former assistant coach directing the special assistant to the head men's basketball coach to provide one of the rides to the prospects."

The COI panel classifies this case as Level II-Mitigated for USF, the lowest possible "major" infraction of which a school can be found guilty. The misleading or false information provided by Oliver Antigua was deemed a Level I "unethical conduct" violation.

USF men's basketball gets off lightly with NCAA 09/19/17 [Last modified: Tuesday, September 19, 2017 2:18pm]
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