Correction: A page-one story in the July 19 Chronicle incorrectly represented the basketball program's history. It has been sanctioned by the NCAA before.
When the book on Corey Maggette's Duke career is finally written, the high-flying former Blue Devil likely won't be remembered for his sensational dunks, his provocative slaps of the backboard, his chiseled shoulders or even for his place as the first member of Duke's basketball team to leave for the NBA after only one season.
Instead, the the 20-year-old native of Melrose Park, Ill., who now makes more than$1 million per season with the Los Angeles Clippers, will forever be remembered as the first person to prompt NCAA sanctions against Duke basketball in the program's 95-year history.
On July 11, in a sworn statement to Duke officials, Maggette admitted for the first time that he accepted $2,000 in cash payments from AAU coach Myron Piggie during the summer of 1997. NCAA bylaw 12.1.1-(a) says a student-athlete loses amateur status and collegiate eligibility if he uses his athletic skill for pay in that sport.
"Duke University did not know and was not in a position to know that it had an ineligible player," NCAA public information coordinator Jane Janikowski said. "I expect they will lose 45 percent of the revenue earned at the 1999 NCAA tournament, plus an automatic vacation of their performance in the tournament. In all the cases
After the University forwarded the statement to NCAA officials July 11, it entered what the NCAA calls the penalty phase. Now, NCAA officials will decide whether or not to strip Duke of its 1999 national runner-up status and part or all of its $226,815 in tournament revenue from that season.
Duke officials and head basketball coach Mike Krzyzewski this week refused to comment further. Maggette and Duke agreed not to release the statement to the public.
Despite Duke's claims that it had no way of knowing that Maggette was ineligible to play basketball for the Blue Devils, the NCAA's current rules on amateurism still holds universities in such situations responsible. This policy has received national criticism, and Krzyzewski attacked it at his June 27 meeting with the media.
"How can you be responsible for everything a kid has ever done?" Krzyzewski asked. "But you should be responsible for a kid while he is in your program."
One week after Krzyzewski's press conference, athletic director Joe Alleva said department officials did not know what to expect. "We have no knowledge at all about what the NCAA is going to do," Alleva said.
Nonetheless, precedent of sorts was set in late June, when NCAA officials ordered UCLA to return 45 percent of the $45,321 it earned from its participation in the NCAA tournament.
UCLA was penalized for playing JaRon Rush, who came under NCAA investigation early in the 2000 season and sat out 24 games last year for accepting money from Piggie and an agent. Rush was one of five AAU players, including younger brother Karim Rush, Oklahoma State sophomore Andre Williams, third-year NBA player Korleone Young and Maggette, who accepted a total of $35,550 from Piggie while they were still high school students.
The NCAA tempered its punishment of UCLA because its athletic department was not aware of Rush's violations when he arrived there in fall 1998. The same standard will likely be applied to Duke.
Even though the Rush case is similar to Duke's situation with Maggette, Chris Kennedy, Duke's NCAA compliance coordinator, pointed out that the NCAA is under no obligation to use the same standards of punishment.
"None of the other cases are exactly the same," Kennedy said. "UCLA's kid [also] took money from an agent while he was still at UCLA. This is a case where nothing happened before [Maggette] got here and then he was gone by the time any of this came to light."
Throughout the federal investigation of Piggie, Maggette maintained his innocence although Piggie had admitted in May to giving him money. But push came to shove when U.S. District Court Judge Gary Fenner scheduled Maggette to testify in a July 7 evidentiary hearing to clear up the discrepancies.