Iowa assistant men’s basketball coach Kirk Speraw said Friday that he was unaware of any NCAA violations that occurred under his watch at Central Florida.
Speraw, who was on vacation and declined to be interviewed, made a short statement through Iowa assistant sports information director Matt Weitzel.
“Kirk was unaware and not involved and fully cooperated with the NCAA investigation,” Weitzel said Friday in a text message after speaking with Speraw.
Speraw was the coach at Central Florida for 17 seasons (1993-2010). He was the school’s all-time winningest coach until his victories from his last two seasons were vacated this week as part of the school’s proactive response to NCAA allegations of wrongdoing.
Central Florida responded after receiving the NCAA’s notice of allegations Tuesday.
The investigation focused on Ken Caldwell, who is described by the NCAA as a “runner” and also a Central Florida booster. His association with the Central Florida men’s basketball program dates back to when Speraw was the coach.
The investigation, which also included the Central Florida football program, was triggered months ago following reports by The New York Times and ESPN.com that Central Florida had involvement with Caldwell with regard to recruiting prospects.
Speraw was fired as the Central Florida coach in March 2010. A few months later he joined Fran McCaffery’s staff at Iowa. It marked a return to his alma mater for Speraw, who played basketball at Iowa in the 1970s.
An article by Jeff Goodman from CBSSports.com in November 2011 said Speraw had a relationship with Caldwell while coaching at Central Florida. The article said Caldwell was connected to current Central Florida guard A.J. Rompza — who was recruited by Speraw and also was the legal guardian of former walk-on Doukon Kuzuean, who was brought in by Speraw.
Keith Tribble resigned as the Central Florida athletic director in the wake of the investigation, and Central Florida men’s basketball coach Donnie Jones has been suspended for three games.
Jones replaced Speraw as the Central Florida coach in 2010. The NCAA alleges that Jones didn’t promote an atmosphere of compliance since taking over the program.
The NCAA also alleges that Caldwell was involved in the recruitment of players that Jones was recruiting.
The 65-page University of Central Florida Public Infractions Report did require that penalties follow Tribble, the former athletic director, and former assistant football coach David Kelly if they take new employment at an NCAA member institution.
There were no penalties for Speraw, only the vacating of wins.
The 2011-12 Iowa media guide refers to Speraw in his profile as Central Florida’s all-time winningest men’s basketball coach with a 279-233 record.
Speraw has since been stripped of the 32 victories that occurred during his final two seasons, lowering his overall record to 247-233. Torchy Clark now is the all-time winningest coach with 274 victories.
Category: Iowa Hawkeyes men's basketball