Ohio coach James Boeheim has called an NCAA investigation into his alleged mishandling of student-athletes’ health care and alleged cheating in the Big Ten Conference, but it’s unclear how serious the investigation is.
The NCAA is looking into Boeheim’s handling of players’ health, and the school’s decision to suspend him from the team this season, a source told Bleacher, citing sources familiar with the situation.
A source told the Associated Press that Ohio was not investigating Boeheim personally.
Ohio is not in violation of the Big 12’s student-admissions and financial aid rules, which require athletic departments to provide athletes with a guaranteed scholarship for the first two years of their eligibility.
Boeheim is one of five coaches to have been suspended for this season for his alleged handling of student health care.
In a statement to Bleacher Sports, Boeheim said: “The allegations made against me are absolutely absurd.
The Big Ten’s Office of Student Affairs and the NCAA’s Office for Civil Rights have reviewed the matter and the investigation has not found any wrongdoing.
We have an outstanding relationship and I look forward to returning to work with our Ohio team and Ohio fans.”
The Buckeyes also declined to comment further.
The university also did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Ohio’s football program has been plagued by allegations of NCAA violations in recent years.
A former Ohio player said in a lawsuit filed by former star running back Johnathan Dwyer that Ohio University and the university of Akron, where Dwyer played, engaged in a cover-up to protect players.
The Ohio players were allegedly forced to go to hospitals and doctors after getting sick and not allowed to return to the team, which had an incentive to not report their illnesses, Dwyer’s lawsuit alleged.
In addition, the university’s athletic department reportedly engaged in “shocking, systematic, intentional, and reckless” cover-ups in order to protect itself from charges of cheating, the lawsuit alleged, adding that the school was “the poster child for systemic and intentional deception” by athletic department officials.
A separate lawsuit filed in September by Dwyer and other former Ohio players alleged that the Ohio University football program failed to adequately protect players and was also subject to multiple lawsuits over alleged wrongdoing.
Ohio University is not the first school to be investigated by the NCAA for allegedly mistreating student-aid and financial-aid violations.
Former University of Alabama coach Nick Saban was suspended for four games and the University of Texas was forced to forfeit more than $60 million in scholarships after it was found to have failed to disclose student-faculty ratios, or student-housing shortages, to the NCAA.
The Associated Press has reached out to the Big East for comment on the Ohio investigation and will update this story when more information becomes available.