The NCAA has vacated multiple sanctions levied against the Georgia Tech men’s basketball program in an appeal ruling, potentially helping the school recoup scholarships and recruiting visitation privileges.
Georgia Tech was hit with major recruiting violations in 2019 — including a postseason ban served in 2020 — involving former assistant Darryl LaBarrie and Ron Bell, a friend of coach Josh Pastner. Tech was hit with the loss of one scholarship per year until September 2023 and a ban on recruits attending home basketball games on official visits, and was reprimanded for “intentional, willful or blatant disregard for the NCAA constitution and bylaws.”
The infractions appeals committee, however, is sending all of that back to the NCAA’s committee on infractions for further consideration, which could shorten the window of scholarship loss.
“I’m very happy and thankful that the infractions appeals committee chose to overturn these penalties, as it is beneficial for the future of our program and student-athletes,” Pastner said Friday. “While this news doesn’t affect our current team or goals, I’m glad to have this part of the process behind us and to be able to continue to put our full focus on this outstanding team and building on the momentum that we have for the rest of the regular season and into the postseason.”
ESPN reported in March 2019 that LaBarrie was charged with a Level I violation related to an Atlanta strip club visit in November 2016 that sources said included former NBA guard Jarrett Jack and current Chicago Bulls player Wendell Carter Jr.
LaBarrie was given a three-year show-cause order, in which “any NCAA member school employing him must restrict him from athletically related duties unless it shows cause why the restrictions should not apply.”
Georgia Tech had self-imposed a three-year dissociation with LaBarrie and permanent disassociation from Bell.
Attorney John Long of Jackson Lewis confirmed that he handled the appeal for the school.
ESPN’s Mark Schlabach contributed to this report.