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UCF AD stepping down amid NCAA allegations

Keith Tribble AP

We interrupt your normally scheduled Penn State news to update you on a SNAFU/resignation at the University of Central Florida.

The Orlando Sentinel is one of many media outlets reporting that UCF athletic director Keith Tribble will resign in the wake of the NCAA’s investigation into the school’s football and men’s basketball recruiting practices. The Sentinel was also able to confirm that UCF receivers coach David Kelly will resign as well.

While the NCAA’s interest revolves around UCF senior point guard A.J. Rompza and his Chicago-based mentor, Ken Caldwell, but there is also interest in the school’s recruitment of quarterback DaMarcus Smith. Allegations have surfaced that Caldwell and his associate Brandon Bender steered Smith to UCF from Louisville on signing day in February of this year.

Smith had a somewhat highly-publicized flip-flop between UCF and Louisville before settling on sticking with the Knights.

The school received a Notice of Inquiry from the NCAA in August over possible recruiting violations in football and men’s basketball, and received a 16-page Notice of Allegations. The notice states:

“It is alleged between March 2009 and July 2011, Ken Caldwell, a recruiter for a professional sports agency, and Brandon Bender, an associate of Caldwell’s, assisted the institution in recruitment of six men’s basketball and five football prospective student-athletes by promoting the institution’s athletics programs. … Certain institutional staff members were aware of Caldwell’s and Bender’s activities while others involved Caldwell and Bender in the recruitment of specific prospective student athletes.”

Addtionally, Tribble is said to have “violated principles of ethical conduct when he knowingly (a) attempted to provide an improper inducement to the mother of a prospective student-athlete and (b)provided false and misleading information to the institution and enforcement staff.”

Retired Admiral Al Harms has been named interim AD and a full search will begin to find a replacement for Tribble. Basketball coach Donnie Jones has been suspended for three games, but has not been fired. Football coach George O’Leary also won’t be fired and won’t face any suspension. O’Leary wasn’t cited in the NCAA’s report.

School president John Hitt said that the school’s internal investigation will consider self-imposed penalties and appear before the Committee on Infractions in April. The NCAA’s investigation is not believed to impact the school’s standing with potentially joining the Big East conference in all sports.

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9 Responses to “UCF AD stepping down amid NCAA allegations”
  1. ancientcougar says: Nov 9, 2011 3:21 PM

    When do we get the good news?

  2. itstariq says: Nov 9, 2011 3:30 PM

    Related to UCF but unrelated to this, what happened to their football team? Their defense looked awesome last year and they’re suddenly losing to everything this season. One of the oddest slumps I’ve seen.

  3. Ben Kercheval says: Nov 9, 2011 3:39 PM


    I wish I had an answer for that.

  4. mogogo1 says: Nov 9, 2011 4:55 PM

    Wow, plenty of stories of coaches paying people, but the AD? I thought the AD’s job was just to turn a blind eye to illicit behavior and plead ignorance of it, not to actually take part in it.

  5. blakebuchanan87 says: Nov 9, 2011 5:46 PM

    Very shrewd timing, UCF. Very shrewd. Kudos on that. No way this gets a blip on ESPN this week.

  6. orthomarine says: Nov 9, 2011 7:04 PM


  7. lookatthefarside says: Nov 9, 2011 8:46 PM

    Aren’t tribbles those furry little balls from Star Trek?

  8. mondzy805 says: Nov 10, 2011 10:52 AM

    Well, at least it has no to do with kids.

  9. stephencolbertslittlebrother says: Nov 10, 2011 2:41 PM

    Who the H E Double Hockey Sticks is UCF? Do they actually play football?

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