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December 21, 2012The NCAA has spoken in the case of Texas sophomore point guard Myck Kabongo, and he'll be suspended 23 games for accepting "impermissible benefits" and then providing "false statements about the situation."
The suspension of 23 games came after an appeal by Kabongo of a season-long suspension and is final, the NCAA said.
Kabongo will be allowed back to action for the final eight games of the regular season, beginning with the Iowa State game on Feb. 13 in Austin.
Kabongo will also have to pay back $475 to the charity of his choice, according to the NCAA.
Rick Barnes released a statement on Friday night from Michigan, where the Longhorns will face Michigan State on Saturday.
"Our thoughts now are with Myck Kabongo and his family," Barnes said. "We feel for Myck. He made some mistakes early in this process, and he put himself in a tough position.
"That said, he was truthful and forthcoming when he talked with the NCAA. We couldn't ask for a guy with better character in the way he has handled this situation.
"From the end of basketball season last year and throughout the spring, he brought a whole different approach to our program.
"Despite what happened, he has been a great leader for this team and we will count on him to continue that as we move forward.
"When I talked to him tonight after the decision had been made, Myck's thoughts were only about our team and our program.
"That is a tribute to Myck and his family, and it tells you everything you need to know about Myck."
Texas athletic director DeLoss Dodds said:
"We are glad this is now behind us and happy Myck will get an important part of the season back.
"I appreciate Myck's attitude through all of this. He has cooperated fully with The university and the NCAA and he has absolutely taken care of his business academically.
"Myck has grown through this experience and continues to be an important part of the team. I know he will continue to be that and were all looking forward to seeing him back on the court later this season.
"I'd like to thank the NCAA committee, a group made up of our peers, for their time and effort in this case."
Here is the NCAA's full release:
University of Texas basketball student-athlete Myck Kabongo, who accepted impermissible benefits and then provided false statements about the situation, must sit out 23 games, according to the appeal decision today by the Division I Committee on Student-Athlete Reinstatement.
According to the facts of the case submitted by the university, Kabongo accepted airfare, personal training instruction and then provided false and misleading information during two separate interviews with university officials.
As a result, Kabongo must miss 23 games for unethical conduct and must repay approximately $475 in impermissible benefits to a charity of his choice. This includes the 10-game withholding condition the university self-imposed as a part of its request to reinstate Kabongo's eligibility.
The university was notified December 14 of the decision by the student-athlete reinstatement staff. The committee heard the university's appeal yesterday and modified the staff decision, which was a one-year withholding.
When an NCAA member school discovers a rules violation has occurred involving a student-athlete, it must declare the student-athlete ineligible and may request eligibility be reinstated by the NCAA. As part of that process, the university self-imposed a 10-game withholding penalty for Kabongo and requested reinstatement for December 19.
After receiving the reinstatement request on November 13, NCAA staff asked for additional information from the UT compliance department in an effort to gather all pertinent information and facts, with the goal being to render a decision prior to the December 19 contest. The university and NCAA continued to work together to gather the information, with the university submitting the final set of requested information on December 12.
The reinstatement committee is the final appeal opportunity. It is comprised of representatives from NCAA member colleges, universities and athletic conferences and can reduce or remove the conditions, but it cannot increase the conditions imposed by the staff.
Sources told Orangebloods.com Texas coach Rick Barnes is irate with the UT compliance office for the handling of the Kabongo case.
Texas basketball spokesman Scott McConnell said the school was working on a statement.