Boatright Was Granted Immunity

Earlier Saturday on, we reacted to the news of Ryan Boatright's reinstatement with an opinion piece carrying the headline "NCAA Has Explaining To Do." Well, at almost precisely the same time that story was posted here, the NCAA offered a timeline of the case on its basketball web site.

This full explanation - highly unusual for the NCAA - of the two reviews into Boatright's eligibility since October offers a great deal more information than has ever been made public.

Two key points should be stressed from this timeline. Boatright and his family received impermissible benefits both before and while he has been at Connecticut. And, secondly, Boatright was granted limited immunity by the NCAA Committee on Infractions in exchange for information.

That is why Ryan Boatright has had his eligibility restored and will play Saturday against Notre Dame. And this changes the story a great deal from the accounts and perceptions that existed before this information was made public.

Here is the entire NCAA release:

University of Connecticut men's basketball student-athlete Ryan Boatright has been cleared to compete immediately, the NCAA announced Saturday.

This situation involves many of the specific concerns expressed by NCAA membership regarding improper third party influence over student-athletes and their families. Specifically, it included more than $8,000 in cash and other impermissible benefits, including a car. These benefits – which are not allowed because they are inconsistent with the principles and values embraced by the NCAA membership – were provided to Boatright and his mother both before and while he was at Connecticut. These impermissible benefits were provided by at least two individuals linked to nonscholastic basketball and professional sports.

Boatright was granted limited immunity by the NCAA Committee on Infractions, a committee comprised of NCAA members. The limited immunity allowed him to avoid missing a significant number of games and repaying the impermissible benefits. It was granted in an effort to gather information regarding third party involvement. Limited immunity is an important yet selectively used tool for the enforcement staff to gather information that would not otherwise be available.

The timeline is below:

• Early Oct. 2011: Connecticut and the NCAA enforcement staff began interviewing individuals and collecting documentation based on numerous credible allegations indicating that several impermissible benefits had been provided to the student-athlete and his mother. The source of the allegations had also provided a significant amount of documentation to substantiate the claims.

• Early Nov. 2011: The NCAA enforcement staff agreed with Connecticut that the student-athlete should not be allowed to compete based on the evidence collected as of that date. While all the relevant information requested from his mother had not been received, the NCAA agreed with Connecticut that it was in the best interests of the student-athlete to go ahead and process the known violations while waiting for the other requested records.

• Nov. 18, 2011: Boatright was reinstated by the NCAA with the condition of a six game withholding and repayment of $4,500 in impermissible benefits to charity. Connecticut had declared Boatright ineligible for preferential treatment violations from two different individuals. The impermissible benefits included travel expenses for his mother during four official visits to NCAA schools and approximately $1,200. In addition, Boatright was provided travel expenses, hotel, meals and training expenses during a two-night trip to California.

• Nov. 26, 2012: Boatright returns to competition.

• Jan. 11, 2012: Boatright's mother, through her attorney, provided additional requested documents.

• Jan. 13, 2012: After a review of those records, the NCAA enforcement staff and Connecticut confirmed that an inappropriate source had been making car payments on behalf of Boatright's mother as had been originally reported by the source. At this time, UCONN decided to withhold him from competition.

• Jan. 16, 2012: After considering all of the facts and circumstances known at that time, including the fact that the student-athlete was likely the least culpable actor, the enforcement staff extended an offer of immunity to the student-athlete conditioned on full, complete and truthful cooperation by the student-athlete and his mother in pursuing the remaining allegations.

• Jan. 17 and 19, 2012: To clarify some remaining concerns, Boatright and his mother were re-interviewed by the NCAA enforcement staff and Connecticut representatives.

• Jan. 27, 2012, 7 p.m.: Both the student-athlete and his mother sent the enforcement staff additional records

• Jan. 28, 2012 at 2 p.m.: After reviewing the additional records, the enforcement staff notified the university that the NCAA staff believed that the student-athlete and his mother had fulfilled the conditions of immunity and therefore, the student-athlete was again eligible for competition.

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