Updated 10/26: Arizona head coach Augie Busch says that the NCAA did not allege a Level I charge against him. The original ‘Athletic’ reporting was that the NCAA alleged “Lack of Head Coach Control,” which is either a Level I or Level II violation under NCAA rules. Busch says that he is not allowed by Arizona compliance officials to discuss the matter further at this time.
The NCAA has charged the University of Arizona with nine rules violations, including five of the most serious Level I allegations, The Athletic reported on Sunday.
While most of the national headlines will focus on the allegations levied against the school’s high-profile basketball program, The Athletic reports that it also includes a charge of “lack of head coach control” by head men’s and women’s swimming & diving coach Augie Busch.
The Athletic cites a letter to the NCAA from Arizona’s outside counsel, Paul Kelly, requesting that the school’s infractions case be referred to the newly created Independent Accountability Resolution Process. The University of Arizona has acknowledged the Notice of Allegations.
The basketball allegations are the latest to arise from an investigation into college basketball conducted by the U.S. Attorney of the Southern District of New York. The scandal involves large payments to top prospects, bribes paid to college officials to steer athletes to certain agents, and payments to high school coaches. The investigations, which also implicate shoe companies, have rocked the college basketball world and has also been cited at other schools like Memphis, Kansas, LSU, Louisville, and NC State.
No reporting has yet probed into why the charge was levied against Busch, and the school has not responded to our request for more information.
The NCAA ‘presumes’ that a head coach is responsible for a Level I or Level II violation, because the NCAA believes that a head coach should maintain control and promote an atmosphere of compliance within their programs.
Busch’s former assistant coach, and younger brother, Sammy Busch, was cited in a Level II case at TCU, for which he was given a one-year show cause order, among other penalties. Their father is Frank Busch, the former USA Swimming National Team Director who served as the head coach at the University of Arizona from 1989 to 2011. That included leading the team to 2 NCAA team championships, 49 NCAA individual titles, and 31 NCAA relay titles.
Since his departure, the head coaching role has been tumultuous for the Wildcats. That includes a mid-season resignation for his successor Eric Hansen in 2013 after numerous allegations. That included an altercation between him and a roommate where police had to be called to the residence, and a very late night, or early morning, swim practice after the team lost a dual meet to the University of Utah.
Among other upheavels in the program since Frank Busch’s departure include violations committed by former diving coach Omar Ojeda that led the program to 2 years of probation and the loss of a women’s scholarship. In 2018, the school rescinded an offer of employment to John Appleman as the school’s next head diving coach.
This is in addition to a number of assistant coaches who have left the program under controversy.
The athletics department is still under probation until January 2021 as a result of the violations in the women’s diving program.
The Arizona men finished 2nd at the 2020 Pac-12 Championships, while the women finished 6th.