Georgia Tech Served with NCAA Notice of Allegations for High-Level Violations

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured ColumnistMarch 15, 2019

COLLEGE PARK, MD - NOVEMBER 29:  The Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets logo on their uniform during the game against the Maryland Terrapins at Xfinity Center on November 29, 2018 in College Park, Maryland.  (Photo by G Fiume/Maryland Terrapins/Getty Images)
G Fiume/Getty Images

The NCAA notified the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets of alleged recruiting violations by former assistant basketball coach Darryl LaBarrie and Ron Bell, who was friends with head coach Josh Pastner.

According to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution's Ken Sugiura, LaBarrie allegedly traveled to a strip club with a prospective recruit on an official visit. The recruit and a member of the team also on the trip were provided with $300.

When the NCAA met with LaBarrie to discuss the allegations, the organization said he "provided false or misleading information" and "attempted to influence the team member to provide false or misleading information."

The NCAA also zeroed in on Bell, who was intertwined with the basketball program until he and Pastner had a falling out.

Georgia Tech self-reported violations by now-former players Josh Okogie and Tadric Jackson in November 2017. The school said Okogie and Jackson accepted improper benefits from Bell totaling less than $525 and $750, respectively.

According to Sugiura, the NCAA's notice includes those allegations as well as Bell's efforts to influence Markel Crawford, who was transferring from Memphis. The report said Bell "sent hundreds of text messages" to Crawford when he was still a member of the Tigers. Bell also attempted to spend $883 toward plane tickets for Crawford and his brother, later rescinding the offer when Crawford transferred to Ole Miss.

The NCAA didn't qualify Bell as a booster for the Yellow Jackets but classified him as "a representative of the school's athletics interest," per Sugiura. As a result, any NCAA violations he committed would count as if he were an official member of the program.

Of the three violations Georgia Tech is facing, two fall under Level I status, which is the highest on the NCAA's scale.