BOLVAR — News spread May 24 that Southwest Baptist University (SBU) was being put on probation in men’s basketball by the NCAA.
SBU President C. Pat Taylor said the long-term future of the program and its head coach, Jeff Guiot, would not be impacted, but that the short-term sanctions would be real. The violations were discovered last summer, Taylor said, and were self-reported to the NCAA.
SBU Athletic Director Mike Pitts expressed his sorrow over what happened, accepting full responsibility for the Guiot-generated turbulence. He also released the followed statement:
“I’m sincerely very sorry that this situation occurred,” Pitts said. “Coach Guiot has handled himself very openly and professionally during this difficult process. I would like to take this opportunity to express my support for Coach Guiot and his staff. All of us are very glad to put this situation behind us and move forward.”
Guiot committed recruiting violations that included sending too many “impermissible” text messages to student-athletes and parents and failing to promote an atmosphere for compliance, according to the finding of an NCAA committee. That infractions committee on the Division II level includes representatives from Barry (Fla.) University, Northern Michigan University, East Stroudsburg (Pa.) University, and Kentucky State University. Their investigation produced the final judgment.
Penalties include: a year of probation ending May 22, 2013; a two-game conference suspension for Guiot to open the new basketball season; ethics training for Guiot and a curbing of his text messaging privileges; cutting men’s basketball scholarships from 10 to 8 for the 2012-2013 season; and eliminating off-campus recruiting for six months.
The Associated Press and Springfield television station KSPR both reported that the NCAA recently passed a rule allowing text messaging by coaches, and that the new rule would take effect June 15.
Guiot, a former player for Kansas University, has been SBU’s men’s basketball coach since 2004.