The NCAA has made major allegations about the athletic department of Central Florida. According to ESPN, Ken Caldwell, who is identified by the NCAA as “a recruiter for a professional sports agency” and his associate Brandon Bender were said to have given improper benefits to players and recruits, as well as having illegal contact with recruits.
According to the allegations, Caldwell and Bender helped to recruit six men’s basketball players and five football prospects. Central Florida’s Athletic Director Keith Tribble, as well as football coach David Kelly and men’s basketball coach Donnie Jones, were aware of this contact, according to the NCAA.
The NCAA also claims that Caldwell and Bender paid the tuition and fees for Central Florida’s men’s basketball players, provided funding for transportation of men’s basketball recruits, and provided a laptop to a football recruit.
Amid these allegations, Tribble and Kelly have both resigned. Jones is suspended for three conference games without pay.
The NCAA has recently cleared Jeff Jordan to play, but A.J. Rompza is still sitting out as his eligibility has yet to be determined. Marcus Jordan, P.J. Gaynor, and Josh Crittle are also not playing due to an unspecified violation of team rules. The have no timetable for return.
The loss of these players is a major hit to UCF’s mens basketball team. They were poised to have a breakout season. Last year, they spent some time in the top 25, going undefeated before conference play. As conference play hit, injuries contributed to their collapse.