Recruiting violations tied to Oro Valley man lead to postseason ban, probation for Ga. Tech

Updated: Sep. 26, 2019 at 2:30 PM MST
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ATLANTA — Recruiting violations involving an Oro Valley man resulted in major problems for the Georgia Tech men’s basketball program.

The NCAA banned the Yellow Jackets from postseason play for the upcoming season and slapped the team with four years of probation on Thursday, Sept. 26.

The NCAA said it was for major recruiting violations committed by a former assistant coach and an ex-friend of head coach Josh Pastner.

The sanctions also included a reduction in scholarships, limits on recruiting and a fine of $5,000 plus 2% of the program’s budget.

The NCAA said former assistant coach Darryl LaBarrie gave $300 to a highly touted prospect for a visit to an Atlanta strip club and arranged for him to meet with a former Georgia Tech athlete who played for the NBA’s Atlanta Hawks, including a visit to the player’s home and a free meal at a lounge owned by the player.

The committee said Ron Bell, an Oro Valley man who was a former friend of Pastner and a booster at the school, provided two players and a potential transfer athlete with $2,424 in shoes, clothes, meals, transportation and lodging.

Pastner, a former assistant coach at University of Arizona, and Bell and Bell’s girlfriend have been entangled in litigation since January 2018.

Pastner sued Bell and Jennifer Pendley for blackmail and for defamation, saying they falsely accused him of breaking NCAA rules. In their countersuit, they claimed he sexually assaulted Pendley in 2016.

Bell and Pendley were eventually arrested for allegedly trying to extort Pastner.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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