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Tuesday May 6, 2003
More Fraud Allegations
Fresno State Sanctions

By Associated Press

    FRESNO, Calif. (AP) -- Fresno State will formally respond to the NCAA's investigation into academic fraud violations by the men's basketball team.
    The school received the NCAA's supplemental letter of inquiry this week, said assistant athletic director Steve Weakland.
    The letter, NCAA's formal response to the violations, marks another step in a nearly three-year investigation of Fresno State by the NCAA. The letter is presented only when the college sports governing board determines a major violation occurred.
   In February, The Fresno Bee reported a former basketball team statistician said he was enlisted in a scheme to write term papers for cash for three players during the 1999-2000 season under former coach Jerry Tarkanian.
   In March, university President John Welty said most of the allegations were true and issued a self-imposed ban on postseason play, which left the team out of the NCAA tournament and NIT.
     The ban was in addition to other self-imposed sanctions -- two years of probation for the men's basketball team and athletic department and the loss of three basketball scholar ships between 2004 and 2006 -- Welty issued in December.
     Welty was responding to a July 2002 NCAA letter of official inquiry concerning basketball players accepting free food from a Fresno restaurant and a basketball player accepting cash from a Las Vegas sports agency, among other violations.
     A day after Welty's announcement in March, the Western Athletic Conference board of directors disqualified the Bulldogs from the league tournament. They cited a new rule that prevents a WAC school from playing in a conference championship tournament if the school is also ineligible for NCAA postseason play in the same sport.
     On Friday, Fresno State refused to comment on details of the investigation. Officials said none of issues outlined in the NCAA's letter involved the current team or coaching staff.
     Access a page of Fresno State news reports details of allegations of academic fraud and payoffs in Fresno State Basketball Program and more, click here.

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2003 The Associated Press.
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