June 22, 2021

June 22, 2021

Presidential message

For nearly three years, Creighton University has been actively and fully cooperating with an ongoing, confidentially mandated NCAA enforcement investigation into alleged rules violations related to our men’s basketball program. Specifically, after becoming aware of a July 28, 2017, meeting in a Las Vegas hotel room attended by former Creighton University assistant men’s basketball coach Preston Murphy (who was placed on leave in March 2019, and resigned in November 2019), the NCAA enforcement staff charged Creighton on Dec. 13, 2019, with three violations of NCAA rules:

  • An allegation of a violation of ethical conduct by Preston Murphy;
  • An allegation of a violation of the NCAA principles of rules compliance and cooperation, as well as the responsibility to report noncompliance related to Director of Athletics Bruce Rasmussen; and
  • An allegation of unethical conduct related to Murphy’s interactions with the NCAA enforcement staff.

From the onset of the investigation, the University has gone to great lengths to work cooperatively with NCAA enforcement staff on this matter, such that they acknowledged we took “affirmative steps to expedite the final resolution of the matter.” Additionally, within their report, the NCAA stated “it is noteworthy that in the 100-year history of Creighton’s participation in Division I athletics, this is Creighton’s first Level I, Level II or major infractions case. As it relates to institutions, the absence of an infractions history is rare. As such, the panel affords significant weight to this factor.” 

After what has been a lengthy process, today the NCAA’s Committee on Infractions has released its findings in the case, which included a press conference that was just completed. This is news that we have been anticipating for some time, and with its release, we are eager to begin the process of moving forward.

NCAA Findings

The Committee on Infractions’ findings in our case include a Level I-Mitigated violation against the men’s basketball program. The NCAA accepted all of the University’s self-imposed penalties, which include:

  • Two years of probation;
  • A $5,000 fine;
  • A reduction in scholarships by one per year for the next two years; and
  • Recruiting limitations.

There is no postseason penalty imposed on the men’s basketball program, and none of our current or future student-athletes will be impacted. 

We appreciate the NCAA’s Committee on Infractions Hearing Panel’s comprehensive and thorough review of the case and accept their finding of Level I - Mitigated violation against the University. We recognize that this situation could have been handled better, and have used it as an opportunity for self-reflection, assessment, and improvement. As such, the Department of Athletics has enacted a series of reforms to policies and procedures, including an even more robust education and monitoring program, to ensure that our programs continue to adhere to the NCAA’s high ethical standards. Additional reforms include:

  • Changes in the reporting structure of the Associate Athletic Director of Compliance to a dual reporting role to the University’s Office of General Counsel;
  • The implementation of a Head Coach responsibility programming for all Creighton athletics programs;
  • Increased coach, staff, donor, and constituent compliance educational meetings and an increase in meetings between athletics department staff and University officials regarding compliance;
  • The purchase of department-wide compliance and recruiting software; 
  • The addition of compliance staff members in 2021;
  • Continuing the practice of annual internal audits of compliance protocols; 
  • Engagement with an external firm to provide a comprehensive compliance review.

This University and its Athletics program have a legacy of excellence, and I’m grateful for the opportunity for us to continue forward.

Sincerely,

Rev. Daniel S. Hendrickson, SJ, PhD

View more information about today’s decision, including the NCAA’s full report