Marquette assistant dismissed, Williams out 1 game
Marquette coach Buzz Williams announced the dismissal of assistant Scott Monarch on Friday, and Williams will serve a one-game suspension as part of the school's self-imposed sanctions for recruiting rules violations it reported to the NCAA.
The school said Monarch gave team-issued apparel and provided transportation to an unnamed recruit, then was ''found to have been untruthful with department administrators on multiple occasions'' after the violations were discovered.
''When I was allowed to review the report earlier this week, I was deeply saddened to learn of an error in judgment of one of my assistants and closest friends,'' Buzz Williams said in a statement. ''I take personal responsibility for what happens in this program and realize we must be role models to both our team and the entire university. Our commitment has always been and will always be to operate this program at the highest level of integrity in the Marquette and Jesuit tradition.''
Marquette director of athletics Larry Williams said in an interview with The Associated Press that there are no indications that Buzz Williams was aware of the violations. The one-game suspension comes in recognition of Buzz Williams' ''duty to monitor the compliance of his staff,'' the school said.
Larry Williams hopes the self-imposed sanctions will show that Marquette takes the issues seriously.
''Our intent here is to build a national championship-caliber program, and we don't want to put it at risk for something as controllable and as fundamental as integrity,'' Larry Williams told the AP. ''We're confident that this is one of the building blocks toward that pursuit of a national championship-caliber team.''
Buzz Williams is expected to sit out the first Big East game of the Golden Eagles' upcoming season.
As part of the self-imposed sanctions, the school also will voluntarily reduce its number of official recruit visits. Monarch has been suspended since mid-June, and Marquette considers not having him available for recruiting trips during that period to be part of its self-imposed sanctions. Buzz Williams can hire a replacement for Monarch.
The Associated Press could not immediately reach Monarch for comment.
''The violations that are more serious are the multiple instances of untruthfulness,'' Larry Williams said. ''The NCAA has as probably its core value the requirement that anybody that works in college athletics be truthful, and you can understand that. We're educating young men and women. If it isn't built on a bedrock of integrity, then it's going to lead to problems. So the NCAA takes the obligation to be honest really, really seriously.''
Larry Williams said an internal investigation found that Monarch wasn't telling the truth.
''Through the course of the investigation, it became clear, ultimately, to the independent investigator, he admitted the (dishonesty),'' Larry Williams said.
Had Monarch admitted the violations right away, it's possible that he would have faced less severe punishment.
''Which makes this all the more troubling,'' Larry Williams said. ''This is not something that should rise to this level of untruthfulness.''
Monarch was an assistant at Marquette for the past three seasons after working as the school's director of basketball operations in 2008-09. He also worked for Williams at New Orleans.
Larry Williams said the one-game suspension is intended to reinforce the idea that the NCAA expects head coaches to create a ''culture of compliance'' in their programs.
''With each head coach, there is the specific obligation - you're responsible for the actions of your staff,'' Larry Williams said. ''We want you to own that, to own the responsibility. And within doing that, you are creating a culture or compliance where everybody appreciates the requirement that people play by the rules.''
Earlier this month, Marquette announced that it reported a possible rules violation involving its men's basketball program to the NCAA. The nature of the violation was not disclosed at the time.
The university retained a law firm, Bond, Schoeneck and King, which specializes in college sports compliance issues.
The NCAA will review the school's report to determine if additional action is necessary. There is no specific timeline for that decision, but Williams is optimistic that the NCAA will deem the school's self-imposed penalties sufficient.
''We have no assurances that that's the case, but we're certainly hopeful,'' Larry Williams said.
The Golden Eagles have advanced to the NCAA tournament in all four seasons since Buzz Williams took over for Tom Crean, including back-to-back appearances in the regional semifinals.
Larry Williams was hired as the school's vice president and director of athletics in December. He replaced Steve Cottingham, who resigned in June 2011 as school and athletic department officials faced questions about how they handled two cases of alleged sexual assault involving unidentified athletes.
Larry Williams said he isn't concerned that this violation will damage the program's image.
''No, quite the opposite,'' he said. ''I think what it demonstrates to anyone reading (about) it is Marquette is diligent in how they go about their business. It's an institution based on a high level of integrity and they don't compromise their integrity at any bend in the road. That's the way that I hope it's interpreted. People in this world, we all make mistakes, but we have to be accountable when we do make mistakes and we have to own it, and learn from it, and move forward.''
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