Recruiting violations continue to run rampant within college basketball. DePaul’s men’s basketball program became the latest domino to fall, as the NCAA put the program on probation for three years for several Level-II violations.
The NCAA also announced on Tuesday that head coach Dave Leitao will be suspended for the first three games of the 2019-20 season.
“The head coach violated NCAA head coach responsibility rules when he did not stop or prevent violations from occurring in his program,” the NCAA said in a statement.
DePaul responded with a statement of its own, clearly displeased with the NCAA’s decision.
“This infraction was an isolated incident directed and then concealed by a former staff member that resulted in, at most, a limited recruiting advantage relative to one former student-athlete.”
Leitao coached DePaul from 2002-05 before accepting the same role at the University of Virginia. He coached the Cavaliers for four years before resigning after Virginia had its worst year since the 1967-68 season.
Following a short stint with the Maine Red Claws of the NBA Development League, he became an assistant coach at the University of Missouri. Leitao then returned to DePaul in 2015, where he has been the head coach since.
Following consecutive nine-win seasons in his first two years back at DePaul, he improved to 11-20 in his third season before a 19-17 campaign in 2018-19. The Blue Demons lost to South Florida in the Finals of the College Basketball Invitational at the end of the year.
Leitao’s team went 14-15-1 against the spread in its regular season games. Seventeen of those games went ‘over’ the total.
DePaul is currently priced at 1000/1 to win the NCAA Title next season, according to 5Dimes.
Michigan State is the favorite at +625, with Kentucky and Virginia following close behind at +750.
The Blue Demons have finished last in their conference eight of the last 10 seasons.