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Penn athletic department placed on two years of NCAA probation in Jerome Allen scandal

Joe Juliano, The Philadelphia Inquirer on

Published in Basketball

PHILADELPHIA -- The Penn athletic department was placed on probation for two years and fined $5,000 Wednesday, and its men's basketball program was assessed recruiting restrictions by the NCAA in connection with recruiting violations committed by former head coach Jerome Allen.

Allen, 47, a former Episcopal Academy and Penn star who coached the Quakers from 2010 to 2015, pleaded guilty and was later sentenced to probation last July for accepting $300,000 in bribes from a Florida businessman to get the man's son into the university's Wharton School.

The penalty announced by the NCAA Committee on Infractions against Penn also included a 15-year show-cause order against Allen. During that time, a school that employs Allen must restrict him from any duties related to athletics unless it can show why the restriction should not apply.

In the year after the show-cause order expires, any school employing Allen must suspend him for the first 50% of the season if he is employed as a coach, the association said.

Allen is an assistant coach with the NBA Boston Celtics.

In addition to probation, the Penn men's basketball program was assessed a three-week ban on all recruiting from May 10-20 and from May 31-June 10, 2020. The NCAA also reduced the program's recruiting-person days -- days spent recruiting off-campus -- for the current academic year by seven.

 

In a statement, Penn's Division of Recreation and Intercollegiate Athletics said that although the NCAA acknowledged that its leadership "exhibited appropriate institutional control and monitoring of its athletics program," it punished the basketball program even though Allen's actions were personal and did not give the team a competitive advantage.

"While Penn athletics and its men's basketball program accept the penalties handed down by the NCAA," the statement said, "it is unfortunate that this process did not fully differentiate wrongdoing for personal gain versus wrongdoing for competitive gain in penalizing the institution in addition to the involved individual."

The NCAA Committee on Infractions report acknowledged that Allen "did not commit the violations to provide a recruiting advantage to the university, but rather ... deliberately used his position to influence the admissions process and concealed his conduct for his personal financial gain."

Allen pleaded guilty in October 2018 on charges connected with accepting bribes that included money, luxury accommodations and trips to Florida from Miami Beach businessman Philip Esformes, who was seeking to get his son, Morris, into Penn.

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