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NCAA Makes Inquiry Into Weber State Basketball Program

April 16, 1996

OGDEN, Utah (AP) _ The NCAA has opened an inquiry into the Weber State men’s basketball program and allegations of recruiting inducements to prospective athletes and extra benefits to enrolled student athletes.

``We still don’t know a lot of things,″ said Allen Simkins, WSU vice president of administrative services.

Simkins would not reveal any specific allegations and basketball coach Ron Abegglen has been told not to comment.

``I don’t know if there were any significant surprises,″ WSU President Paul Thompson said. ``They (the NCAA) are very professional and very thorough.″

Weber State has 90 days to respond to the allegations. Simkins said the university may file for an extension.

The NCAA has asked Weber State to conduct its own investigation, which it already had begun.

``If we can’t find evidence to support allegations we will contest them,″ Thompson said.

Simkins said none of the allegations has been classified as major or minor.

Thompson said Weber State is one of numerous schools the NCAA initially looked at because of basketball players who took correspondence courses from Southeastern College of the Assemblies of God in Florida. It is unclear whether the correspondence courses are part of the inquiry.

The NCAA officially notified Thompson of its inquiry back in October, but Thompson believes the NCAA started its work before that.

Thompson said all of the allegations listed in the inquiry relate to the last five years while Abegglen has been the basketball coach. In that time, Abegglen has compiled a 97-50 record and led his 1994-95 Wildcats into the second round of the NCAA Tournament.

Possible NCAA sanctions include probation, a temporary reduction of scholarships and a ban on postseason play.

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