When SMU hired Larry Brown in 2012 after letting Matt Doherty go, it seemed a curious hire. He was 71 years old, clearly in the back end of his career, and had been out of the college game for nearly a quarter century. He was now about to lead a moribund program that had never really gained traction in Conference USA. He carried name recognition, the kind that would make them relevant even if they weren’t on the court, but whether it would pay off remained to be seen.
Three years later, that move appears to have backfired.
On Tuesday, the NCAA banned the Mustangs from the 2016 postseason for multiple violations that include academic fraud and unethical conduct. The program is also on probation for three years, while Brown has been suspended for 30 percent of his team’s games for the 2015-16 season (that comes out to about nine or ten games), and the team will lose nine scholarships over the next three seasons.