At the end of a year in which Baylor produced a Heisman Trophy winner in football, an Elite Eight appearance in men's basketball and a national championship in women's hoops, the NCAA may throw some cold water on the Bears' celebration.
ESPN.com is reporting Baylor's men's and women's basketball teams are facing possible sanctions stemming from an NCAA investigation that revealed more than 1,200 impermissible calls and texts over a 29-month span. The impermissible calls and texts, made by men's coach Scott Drew, women's coach Kim Mulkey and several assistants, have been classified as "major violations" because of their frequency.
The NCAA enforcement staff began its probe into the Baylor basketball programs in 2008 when it investigated the recruitment of women's star Brittney Griner. ESPN.com reported all the coaches named in the report have acknowledged their involvement in the findings and have accepted self-imposed penalties in hopes of diminishing the potential NCAA punishment.
Among the penalties ESPN.com reports Baylor has self-imposed are scholarship and recruiting restrictions for both the men's and women's programs. The NCAA's committee on infractions is expected to announce next week if they deem more penalties necessary for the programs or the respective coaches.
It won't be a huge surprise to see Baylor men's hoops receive NCAA sanctions considering the skepticism with which other coaches have viewed the Bears' sudden rise from Big 12 bottom feeder to Final Four contender. Baylor has reached two Elite Eights in three years under Drew and has another decorated recruiting class set to arrive next season.
The greater surprise from the story is that the Baylor women's program has also been implicated.
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A handful of women's basketball programs have received NCAA sanctions in recent years, but none of them have been one of the sport's traditional powers. Baylor went 40-0 this season and won the national title over Notre Dame last week, the program's second championship in women's basketball.
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