UCF Athletic Director Keith Tribble has resigned as a result of illegal recruitment findings by the NCAA. Sources close to the program have told me that UCF president Dr. John Hitt asked Tribble to resign wednesday morning after the school received notice of allegations on Tuesday.
UCF Basketball Coach Donnie Jones will be suspended 3 conference games without pay and will be issued a letter of reprimand.”As the program’s head coach, I accept responsibility for mistakes when they occur,” Jones said. “I respect Dr. Hitt and the University of Central Florida and believe the decision in this case is fair. I look forward to representing UCF in a positive manner on and off the court.” Jones will miss conference games against Tulane on January 4th, at East Carolina on January 7th, and home game against Houston on January 11th. Jones first game back in conference would be January 14th at Marshall.
UCF Football asst Coach David Kelly also resigned from UCF football program for his involvement in recruitment of DeMarcus Smith and in total 5 football players as a result of his relationship with Ken Caldwell, a recruiter for a professional sports agency, and Brandon Bender, an associate of Caldwell’s. Caldwell and Bender helped UCF in recruitment of six basketball players and five football players by promoting the program. Certain staff at UCF were aware of the activities were going on. Kelly was big part of football program as he has been big part of UCF Recruiting success in particular in South Florida and been praised for his work as UCF had the two highest recruiting classes in the program history the last two seasons.
The NCAA’s Notice of Allegations reported multiple violations and specifically cited Tribble and Kelly for unethical conduct when meeting with NCAA investigators. They will have the opportunity to personally challenge those allegations to the NCAA.
UCF cooperated fully with the NCAA during its investigation, which does not involve football coach George O’Leary or any sports beyond football and men’s basketball.
Hitt has appointed Al Harms, UCF’s vice president for Strategy, Marketing, Communications and Admissions, as interim director of Athletics. Harms, a retired Navy vice admiral, previously served as interim director of Athletics in 2006. Among other duties, he currently oversees UCF football game day operations. UCF will immediately begin a national search for its new director of Athletics. Tribble had been with UCF since 2006.
UCF entire Press Conference[audio:1080/UCFAA_Presser.mp3|titles=UCF President John Hitt Press Conference]