Coach Nutt eager for program to move on

Friday, August 14, 2009

As far as potential NCAA sanctions, Dickey Nutt knew what he was getting into when he was hired as Southeast Missouri State's men's basketball coach March 12.

After the sanctions against the Redhawks were announced Thursday by the NCAA, Nutt said the Redhawks can resume their task of rebuilding a struggling program.

"Now we can move forward, we can move ahead," Nutt said.

The NCAA Division I Committee on Infractions announced several sanctions against Southeast primarily as a result of major and secondary violations committed in the men's basketball program between 2006 and 2008 when Scott Edgar was coach.

The university received three years of probation added to its current two-year probationary period, which was to conclude June 17, 2010, but now concludes June 17, 2013.

Penalties specific to men's basketball primarily were restricted to what the university already had self-imposed and that the NCAA accepted.

* Southeast will have one less scholarship for the 2009-2010 academic year, from the NCAA maximum limit of 13 to 12.

* Southeast will have its number of off-campus contact and evaluation recruiting opportunities reduced by 15 for the 2009-2010 academic year.

* Southeast had the number of times players could be supervised by strength and conditioning staff reduced by 28 opportunities for this summer.

"I had an idea what would happen," Nutt said. "We [he and director of athletics John Shafer] knew going in. ... Mr. Shafer had discussed it with me as far back as when I interviewed for the job."

Nutt's first Southeast roster currently lists just 10 scholarship players and chances were the 2009-2010 Redhawks would not have carried 13 scholarship players even without the NCAA penalty.

Regardless of the restrictions placed on the Redhawks for Nutt's first season, he appeared undaunted.

"We feel like we have put together a great staff," Nutt said. "We just have to be more efficient, work harder. I have great confidence in our staff."

Nutt also is confident there will be no NCAA violations by the Southeast men's basketball program under his watch.

"We're going to have a structured, very disciplined program," he said. "We have to abide by the rules. My staff knows that."

Like Nutt, Shafer, who was hired in December and also was not around when the NCAA violations occurred, knew what to expect Thursday.

"Dickey and I discussed it as I was hiring him," Shafer said. "None of it was a surprise."

Shafer did not want to diminish the sanctions, but he acknowledged things could have been worse.

"Any restrictions are hard," Shafer said. "For sure it could have been worse. I'm not pleased about anything because this is a tough day. But we anticipated these might be the sanctions."

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