See, Miami, your Hurricanes aren’t the only Florida school in which the NCAA has an interest. Doesn’t that make you feel better?
Following up months of reports and speculation, UCF was officially sent a Notice of Inquiry by the NCAA Wednesday. The notice signals the NCAA’s intent to launch an official investigation into allegations involving both the football and basketball programs.
It’s been alleged that two men — Chicago resident Ken Caldwell and Louisville resident Brandon Bender — had steered football recruit DaMarcus Smith as well as two basketball recruits to the Knights.
Three NCAA investigators are currently working on the case. The university stated that its own internal and independent investigation would continue.
“Compliance is the top priority for UCF athletics; playing by the rules is the only way to play,” UCF president John Hitt said in a statement. “We will cooperate fully with the NCAA. If we have done something wrong, we will deal with it in a manner that is consistent with our responsibilities as a member of the NCAA and our own high standards of conduct.”
The NCAA notice continues a rather tumultuous offseason for the Knights football program, which finished inside of the Top 25 at the end of the 2010 season. In July, a jury found the university negligent in the death of Erick Plancher and awarded his parents $10 million.
In February, four-star quarterback DaMarcus Smith unexpectedly flipped his commitment from Louisville to UCF on signing day. Nearly two months later, Smith asked for a release from his UCF scholarship so that he could return to his hometown of Louisville, but that request was denied. Smith ultimately opted of his own free will winkwinknudgenudge to stick to his UCF commitment.
As of today, Smith has yet to qualify academically and please don’t suggest he’s doing it on purpose to legally get out of his Letter of Intent thank you very much in advance even though you would probably be right in thinking it.