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Maryland men's and women's basketball programs hit for NCAA rules violations

The Maryland men’s and women’s basketball programs committed minor rules violations, the NCAA announced Tuesday. Consequences for the offenses included a lost scholarship spot for the women’s program and an assistant coach suspended by the men’s program.

According to a statement on the university athletics website, “Maryland Athletics will continue to robustly educate and monitor to ensure adherence to our core values and hold ourselves to the highest standards.”

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After he joined Mark Turgeon’s staff as director of player personnel for the 2017-18 season, current assistant coach Matt Brady instructed a player on his shooting form on 10 occasions without telling Turgeon or members of his staff, and also provided Turgeon, at the coach’s behest, with oral scouting reports eight times. It is against NCAA rules for a staff member who is not on the coaching staff to work with players or scout opposing teams.

Brady, a former Division I head coach at James Madison and Marist who became an assistant after the 2017-18 season, was suspended by the athletic department for the first six games of the 2018-19 season and was prohibited from attending 15 practices. Brady was also told to attend two regional rules seminars over a two-year period beginning last fall.

Turgeon received a letter of reprimand from the athletic department, which also cut the team’s athletic-related activities by one hour per week during the offseason and by two hours per week in-season.

A member of the department’s compliance staff assigned to men’s basketball attended at least one practice per week last season, traveled to at least four regular-season road games and all postseason games, and attended at least nine film sessions while providing additional education to the coaches and players.

According to the NCAA, Maryland women’s coach Brenda Frese acknowledged she and her staff had given 17 prospects recruiting booklets with personalized covers during their unofficial visits. Frese told the NCAA she did not understand the rules about what could be shared with prospects during visits. Also, an assistant coach sent 150 personalized items to prospects, which is against NCAA rules.

The athletic department cut the number of women’s basketball scholarships by one per season for three years, beginning in 2018-19. The women’s team also lost three official recruiting visits per year during that time period. The team was prohibited from sending out recruiting material for one week each month last season.

The loss of the scholarship should have little impact on the women’s team. Frese’s team has 13 players on scholarship for the 2019-20 season — two under the NCAA limit — and has four seniors who are expected to graduate after next season with no commitments from prospects in the 2020 freshman class.

The NCAA also imposed a one-year probation for both teams and a $5,000 fine for the school. The probation does not include any type of postseason ban for either team.

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