NCAA: King University men’s basketball program fined, on probation for ‘impermissible benefits and academic misconduct’


BRISTOL, Tenn. (WJHL)- Officials with the NCAA said the King University men’s basketball team has been penalized due to violations involving “the university’s work-study program, impermissible benefits and academic misconduct.”

A release issued by the NCAA Friday said in part, “The work-study violations involved 28 men’s basketball student-athletes receiving more than $22,000 of pay they did not earn, according to the committee. The student-athletes, who were supervised by the former associate head coach, rounded up the amount of time they worked and logged inaccurate hours, including times when they were competing. The former associate head coach approved the hours without confirming the accuracy. In addition, the university did not appropriately act on information suggesting the reported hours might be inaccurate.”

According to that release, the committee also found the former head coach, “violated head coach responsibility rules and the university did not monitor the men’s basketball work-study program.”


The NCAA release also detailed the following penalties and corrective measures that the King University men’s basketball team will now face:

  • Three years of probation.
  • A reduction of men’s basketball scholarships from 10 to 8.5 for the 2019-20 and 2020-21 academic years (self-imposed by the university).
  • A vacation of records in which student-athletes competed while ineligible. The university must provide a written report containing the contests impacted to the NCAA media coordination and statistics staff within 14 days of the public decision release.
  • A $2,500 fine.
  • A prohibition of men’s basketball official paid visits for one year (self-imposed by the university).
  • The university must provide a copy of the infractions decision to its regional accrediting agency because the case involved academic misconduct.
  • A one-year show-cause order for the former head coach. During that period, any NCAA member school employing him must show cause why he should not have restrictions on athletically related activity.
  •  two-year show-cause order for the former associate head coach. During that period, the associate head coach cannot supervise any work-study students and must attend an NCAA Regional Rules Seminar during both years of the period. He must be suspended from the first three conference games of the first season of his employment and must be prohibited from all off-campus recruiting from July 1, 2021, through Oct. 14, 2021.
  • The men’s basketball coaching staff must attend an NCAA Regional Rules Seminar in either 2020 or 2021 (self-imposed by the university).

Director of Athletics for King University, David Hicks, issued the following statement to News Channel 11 on Friday:

“Today’s decision by the NCAA concludes what has been an extremely challenging and disappointing chapter for King’s men’s basketball program. In order to move forward, you must acknowledge and correct your wrongdoings, and that is where we are today. While this is a difficult process, I can assure you that our men’s basketball program has emerged stronger, and is committed to upholding the high values and expectations of the University community.”

David Hicks, Director of Athletics

News Channel 11 also received the following statement from King University’s men’s basketball coach, Jason Gillespie:

“I’m excited to be back at King, and I’m looking forward to tipping off the upcoming men’s basketball season. While it will be a challenge to replace the outstanding group of seniors that played a key role in the Tornado’s success in recent years, our program has an incredibly solid foundation that we can build on starting with this year’s squad.”

Jason Gillespie, King University Men’s basketball coach

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