Alabama Basketball Gets 3 Years Probation After Associate AD's NCAA Violation

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured ColumnistNovember 20, 2020

Alabama head coach Nate Oats yells during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game against LSU, Saturday, Feb. 15, 2020, in Tuscaloosa, Ala. (AP Photo/Vasha Hunt)
Vasha Hunt/Associated Press

The NCAA announced Friday it placed the Alabama men's basketball program on probation for three years because of a violation committed by former associate athletics director Kobie Baker. 

Baker resigned in September 2017, with AL.com's Matt Zenitz reporting at the time it was related to the FBI's investigation into college basketball corruption.

The NCAA, which didn't name Baker, said the former Alabama official "violated NCAA ethical conduct rules when he received money in exchange for facilitating a meeting between the father of a student-athlete, a financial advisor and the financial advisor's representative."

In addition to serving out its probation, Alabama must pay a fine of $5,000 plus one percent of the budget for the men's basketball team. Baker was also handed a 10-year show-cause penalty, requiring any school that hires him to restrict him from "athletically related duties" or prove to the NCAA why he should be allowed to avoid those restrictions.

The NCAA provided a more detailed look into its investigation. 

"Regarding the first violation, the associate AD knowingly received money during or around a series of meetings in the spring and summer of 2017 from a financial advisor and the advisor’s representative in exchange for access to student-athletes," it said.

In one instance, the organization said Baker received at least $3,000 and a dinner from financial advisor Marty Blazer and Rashan Michel, a former referee implicated in the FBI investigation. Baker then set up a meeting for Blazer and Michel with a member of the Crimson Tide roster.

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The NCAA also said Baker wasn't forthcoming with its enforcement staff when it attempted to look into any alleged violations.

According to ESPN's Mark Schlabach, the player in question was former Alabama guard Collin Sexton. Sexton was the No. 5 player in the 2017 recruiting class, per 247Sports' composite rankings. He spent one season with the Tide before moving on to the NBA.