CBS Sports: At least six college basketball programs will be notified of major NCAA violations by this summer
At least six Division I men's basketball programs will receive notices of allegations for Level I violations from the NCAA by the summer, stemming from the federal government's recently completed investigation of the sport, a top NCAA official told CBS Sports.
Stan Wilcox, NCAA vice president for regulatory affairs, said two high-profile programs would receive notices of allegations by early July.
The remaining four would be rolled out later in the summer in what was described as a wave of NCAA investigations meant to clean up major-college basketball.
"There's even another group of cases that we're still working on," Wilcox said. "The main thing is that we're up and ready. We're moving forward and you'll see consequences."
Level I violations are considered the most serious by the NCAA. They carry the strongest punishments that can include scholarship reductions, postseason bans and show-cause orders against coaches. According to the NCAA, a notice of allegations is sent after an investigation has closed.
It has previously been reported that at least Kansas, Arizona and Louisville had been under NCAA investigation.
At least 20 schools were mentioned during the course of the FBI's investigation. Among others were Oklahoma State, USC, Auburn and LSU. Wilcox said only those schools involved in eligibility issues would be impacted.
He would not name any of the schools involved.
"I would just say that it's clear when you look at the number of cases that were listed by the Southern District of New York, those numbers are more than likely be reflected in the number of cases that are going to be moving forward," said Wilcox, a former Florida State athletic director and Notre Dame basketball player.
When the original FBI indictments were handed down in September 2017, there were reports that top head coaches would be implicated in wrongdoing.
NCAA rules now make head coaches responsible for wrongdoing within their program.
"Those top coaches that were mentioned in the trials where the information shows what was being said was a violation of NCAA rules, yes. They will be all part of these notices of allegations," Wilcox said.
The NCAA had held off on investigations, he said, at the request of the government until the trials were concluded.
"So now that's it over, we're going to be moving forward with a number of Level I cases that will help people realize that, 'Yeah, the enforcement staff was in a position to move forward,'" Wilcox said.
These new cases will be subject to new NCAA policies adopted through the recommendations made by the Rice Commission, Wilcox said.
Up to five of the most serious cases annually now will be decided by an infractions committee that will now include persons outside of the NCAA. That policy goes into effect Aug. 1.
"They could be more restrictive or less restrictive," Wilcox said. "I wouldn't want to be the first institution to go through that process."
Wilcox was in Orlando on Wednesday as a panelist speaking on NCAA issues at the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics convention.
Part of his duties include overseeing NCAA enforcement.
The FBI announced in September 2017 it had indicted 10 persons -- including four assistant coaches -- on charges of bribery and fraud. The cases wrapped up this year with assistant coaches at Auburn, Arizona, USC and Oklahoma State pleading guilty to conspiracy to commit bribery.
Aspiring agent Christian Dawkins and Adidas consultant Merle Code were found guilty in two separate trials on fraud and bribery charges. Former adidas executive Jim Gatto was found guilty of conspiracy to commit wire fraud against Louisville and Kansas.
In a rare show of candor in such cases, both Wilcox and NCAA vice president of Division I governance Kevin Lennon have spoken out recently about the NCAA's intentions in the FBI cases.
"It's a great opportunity for the enforcement staff, the committee on infractions, as well as our whole community to now try to … put things back where they need to be," Wilcox said.
The federal government's intervention and prosecution of the cases raised questions whether the pay-for-play conduct was even a crime.
They certainly seem to be NCAA violations. The FBI investigation exposed what was long known to be a widespread culture of cheating at least the high levels of college basketball.
In a way, the FBI may have made violation of NCAA rules a federal crime.
"The membership, particularly the coaching community, have been frustrated," Wilcox said. "Those cases started 2017? We're now in '19. They want action."
Lennon told the Knight Commission last month: "You don't get in the way of a federal investigation. Activity was going on during that span that was within our purview, but now that the court cases are done, now we're in a position where you're likely to see notices of allegations going to institutions that have violated NCAA rules."
It is rare for any NCAA official to speak publicly about ongoing investigations. In fact, it is against protocol for officials to speak about a specific ongoing case.
In may be with such proclamations, the NCAA is sending a message that it is serious regarding what is arguably the worst cheating scandal in enforcement history.
The NCAA did change its rules allowing it take information from a trial and apply it to ongoing investigations. Previously, NCAA investigators had to develop information for themselves that had been revealed in court or by media accounts.
"I'm very excited to see that process move around," NCAA President Mark Emmert said during the Final Four in April. "It's finally the case now that we can take and receive information and evidence from other proceedings … and directly import them into our investigatory work."
Earlier this year, the NCAA petitioned the FBI for more information relating to the cases. Wilcox said there was some NCAA frustration in not getting all that information from the trials.
One of the most significant pieces of information to emerge from the trials was a wire tap involving Kansas assistant Kurt Townsend.
On it, Townsend can be heard discussing the exact financial arrangement it would take to land then-No. 1 recruit Zion Williamson. However, that call wasn't entered into evidence in the trial.
"Any wiretap that was introduced into evidence [we can use]," Wilcox said. "It wasn't. That was leaked. We don't have access to that.
"We can use the information that was put in the media but … we would take that information and when we sit down and talk with the coach we would use that as [a talking point]."
Wilcox made a point to say the NCAA had "individuals" in court during the multiple trials "listening to everything that was said."