Saturday, May 3, 2003

Eustachy violated NCAA's extra-benefits rule

The Des Moines Register

Suspended Iowa State basketball coach Larry Eustachy violated NCAA rules by paying small amounts of money to five players for making free throws during a practice and a game last season, according to school documents released Friday.

NCAA officials cited Eustachy for a secondary violation of the association's extra-benefits rule.

The decision was based on a school investigation that found Eustachy had paid $10 to a player at the end of the Cyclones' 74-70 victory over Baylor on Feb. 1.

In addition, the school investigation found that Eustachy had awarded $10 each to five unidentified players for winning a free-throw contest in a practice on Feb. 13.

NCAA officials have ordered the school to suspend Eustachy for one game during the 2003-04 season for the violation.

The report also said: "Mr. Eustachy should be advised that the enforcement staff is extremely concerned by his actions and he should avoid any further similar violations."

Eustachy was not immediately available for comment.

On Wednesday, Iowa State officials suspended Eustachy for his involvement in at least two campus parties while on Big 12 Conference road trips. University athletic director Bruce Van De Velde has recommended Eustachy be fired, pending a possible appeal.

Eustachy claimed in documents he used the free-throw payments as a coaching technique to relieve tensions among players. He acknowledged to school officials that it was an error in judgment, but didn't reflect dishonest conduct and amounted to insignificant awards.

Each of the five players was declared ineligible for competition, but later reinstated after donating similar amounts to charity.

Among the penalties Iowa State told NCAA officials it imposed before the ruling: Eustachy's salary will be frozen for the upcoming fiscal year. The Iowa State report indicated that would translate to about $8,000.

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