DePaul men’s basketball placed on probation, Leitao suspended 3 games by NCAA

CHICAGO, IL - FEBRUARY 14: DePaul Blue Demons head coach Dave Leitao discusses with his team during a teammate in the game between the DePaul Blue Demons and the St. John's Red Storm on February 14, 2018 at the Wintrust Arena in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Quinn Harris/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

CHICAGO — The actions of a former associate head coach and the perceived lack of action from the head coach to prevent it has led to NCAA to punish the DePaul men’s basketball program.

On Tuesday afternoon, they placed the program on three years probation and suspended head coach Dave Leitao for the first three games of the 2019-2020 after an investigation into the program because the former associate was found to have “knowingly directed the former assistant director of basketball operations to provide impermissible recruiting benefits to a recruit” per a release from the NCAA on Tuesday.

The Division I Committee on Infractions panel also determined that Leitao didn’t do enough to prevent these violations from occurring, which led to his suspension.

“The head coach created an environment where staff members did not report violations or consult with the compliance staff but chose to remain silent. The head coach simply did not ensure a compliant program,” said the committee in the NCAA release.

Along with those two punishments from the NCAA, the committee also imposed these on the program, but didn’t impose a postseason ban or loss of scholarships.

  • A three-year show-cause order for the former associate head coach. During that period, any NCAA member school employing him must restrict him from any athletically related duties unless it shows cause why the restrictions should not apply.
  • A vacation of records in which the men’s basketball student-athlete competed while ineligible. The university must provide a written report containing the contests impacted to the NCAA media coordination and statistics staff within 45 days of the public decision release.
  • Recruiting restrictions, including:
    • A reduction of six men’s basketball recruiting-person days during the 2017-18 academic year (self-imposed by the university).
    • A reduction of six men’s basketball recruiting-person days in April 2019 (self-imposed by the university).
  • A $5,000 fine, plus 1% of the men’s basketball program budget

Leitao is in his second stint as the head coach at DePaul, taking over at the start of the 2015-2016 season. He’s compiled a 106-116 record in that time with no NCAA Tournament appearances. In fact, the last time the program made the “Big Dance” was during Leitao’s first tenure with the team in 2004, when the Blue Demons advanced to the second round.

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