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NCAA slaps Ga. Tech hoops on wrist for major violations

Jul 14, 2011, 6:15 PM EST

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Georgia Tech football got a big NCAA smackdown, but the hoops program didn’t emerge unscathed after myriad violations emerged Thursday.

A graduate assistant broke NCAA rules when he helped administer two youth basketball tournaments on campus in May 2009 and 2010 and also evaluated prospective student-athletes. At one point, he made 28 calls to two assistant coaches during the ’10 event.

The NCAA termed those major violations because the hoops staff knew about it and it provided more than a minimal recruiting edge.

Former coach Paul Hewitt, who was fired shortly after the season ended and was not named in the NCAA’s report, disagreed with the NCAA’s assessment.

“My staff and I have always had a record of compliance with the rules,” Hewitt told Jeff Goodman of CBSSports.com. “And we’re proud of that record.”

(Tech football took the brunt of the damage. The school received four years’ probation, a $100,000 fine and had to vacated its 2009 ACC title, but didn’t lose any scholarships or any postseason bans.)

Not that it’s a huge deal.

All new hoops coach Brian Gregory has to deal with is a reduction of two recruiting days during the current evaluation period (which was self-imposed) and a limit of 10 official visits for the 2011-12 and 2012-13 academic years.

The bigger hit was simply having the label of “major violations” occupy the news on Thursday. By next month, it’ll be a distant memory for the hoops program.

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