NCAA drops the hammer on former USM coach Donnie Tyndall

April 12, 2016 in Sports

In this March 16, 2013, file photo, then-Southern Miss head coach Donnie Tyndall gestures during the championship game in the Conference USA men's NCAA college basketball tournament in Tulsa, Okla Former Southern Mississippi basketball coach Donnie Tyndall has been hit with a 10-year show cause by the NCAA for his role in rules violations that occurred at the school during his tenure. The NCAA released its ruling in the case on Friday, April 8, 2016. (AP file photo)

In this March 16, 2013, file photo, then-Southern Miss head coach Donnie Tyndall gestures during the championship game in the Conference USA men’s NCAA college basketball tournament in Tulsa, Okla Former Southern Mississippi basketball coach Donnie Tyndall has been hit with a 10-year show cause by the NCAA for his role in rules violations that occurred at the school during his tenure. The NCAA released its ruling in the case on Friday, April 8, 2016. (AP file photo)

JACKSON, Mississippi (AP) — The NCAA announced a 10-year show-cause order Friday for former Southern Mississippi basketball coach Donnie Tyndall, listing a series of infractions that included directing his staff to get recruits eligible to play by doing their coursework for them, using a fabricated document to cover up questionable financial transactions and trying to hide potential evidence.

The school’s self-imposed two-year postseason ban was accepted by the NCAA and the program will have three years of probation from 2017 to 2020.

The impact for Tyndall is much longer. The show-cause order — which essentially makes him unemployable at the NCAA level — runs through April 7, 2026. Even if he is employed after that date, he must sit out 50 percent of his team’s first full season.

The NCAA came down hard on Tyndall, who had a 56-17 record over two seasons with the school, including two trips to the National Invitation Tournament quarterfinals. He left for Tennessee in 2014, where he was fired after one season after his involvement in the Southern Miss violations came to light.

Southern Miss had been bracing for significant sanctions after the NCAA’s damning notice of allegations released last year. On Friday, the NCAA said Tyndall “acted unethically and failed to promote an atmosphere for compliance when he directed his staff to engage in academic misconduct.”

Within six weeks of starting at Southern Miss, Tyndall “directed members of his staff to complete fraudulent coursework for seven prospects so they could be immediately eligible to compete,” the NCAA said. Three staff members were told to “travel to two-year colleges” to complete the coursework.

“The former head coach also facilitated cash and prepaid credit card payments to two prospects from former coaches,” the NCAA said “One former high school coach mailed the money directly to the former head coach, who would then deliver the money to the student-athlete for university bills.”

Tyndall also instructed a staff member to concoct a document showing the school had approved the payments and deleted emails relevant to the investigation, the NCAA said.

Three former assistant coaches also received severe penalties. One was hit with an eight-year show cause, one has a seven-year penalty and the other was six years. Southern Miss also must vacate all wins in which the ineligible athletes participated and will lose four addition scholarships over the next three seasons.

Southern Miss athletic director Bill McGillis said in a statement that he respected the NCAA’s decision and that he’s “pleased that this matter has reached its conclusion and that we can move forward in a positive manner.”

The Southern Miss basketball program has nosedived since the NCAA’s investigation became public. Veteran coach Doc Sadler took over the program in 2014 — before he was aware of the sanctions — and the severely hobbled program had a 9-20 record in 2014-15 and an 8-21 mark last season.