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NCAA Drops Probe of UCLA Basketball

TIMES STAFF WRITER

An NCAA investigation into UCLA’s 1988 recruitment of basketball player Don MacLean has been dropped.

In a letter to UCLA Athletic Director Peter Dalis, Charles Smrt, the NCAA’s director of enforcement, said: “Based on the review of the available information, it appears that no further action in this matter by this office is warranted at this time.”

The investigation, conducted jointly by the NCAA and the Pacific 10 Conference, was reopened after new allegations surfaced that Bruin Coach Jim Harrick visited MacLean’s home and got him to sign a letter of intent during the so-called “dead period,” a span of 48 hours in which coaches are forbidden to contact potential recruits.

There were also allegations by former Bruin assistant coach Jack Hirsch that two UCLA vice chancellors had told potential witnesses not to cooperate with an NCAA investigation.

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Any wrongdoing was denied by those allegedly involved.

The NCAA inquiry, the third since MacLean was recruited, ended as did the previous two.

“When this allegation first surfaced in 1989,” Dalis said in a statement released by the university, “we encouraged the Pac-10, and ultimately the NCAA, to investigate the situation.We now consider the matter closed.”

Harrick, traveling in China, could not be reached for comment.

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The most recent allegations about Harrick’s visit to the Mac-Lean home came to light in six pages of notes written by Bob Hawking, MacLean’s coach at Simi Valley High School.

Hawking detailed MacLean’s recruitment in the notes, including an entry for April 24, 1988, that read: “Don signs letter in presence of Harrick.”

Hawking composed the notes after learning that he would not be hired by Harrick. Hawking said he had been promised an assistant’s job, but lost it after MacLean signed because it was thought that Hawking’s hiring might have given the impression of impropriety.

Hawking is a basketball assistant at UC Davis.

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MacLean, a three-year starter at UCLA, enters his senior season with a good chance to surpass Lew Alcindor (Kareem Abdul-Jabbar) and become the Bruins’ all-time leading scorer.

Times staff writer Scott Howard-Cooper contributed to this story.


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