College Basketball

From Staff and Wire Reports

The University of Illinois has denied that it failed to cooperate fully with an NCAA investigation, an allegation leveled by the man who was the main investigator of recruiting violations at the school.

In November, the NCAA infractions committee barred Illinois from postseason play as part of sanctions for rules violations and because of a finding that the school lacked institutional control of its basketball program.

Randy Rueckert, who investigated Illinois, said the NCAA has been unfairly criticized as being too tough in the probe. He also said he believes Notre Dame star LaPhonso Ellis was telling the truth when he told the NCAA that Illinois offered him money to enroll, the Chicago Tribune reported.

Illinois was cleared of major charges, including an allegation that an assistant coach offered money and cars to recruit Ellis and Deon Thomas.