University at Buffalo men’s basketball placed on probation by NCAA for forging documents

The NCAA has placed the University at Buffalo’s men’s basketball team on probation for one year after an investigation revealed an assistant coach had forged transfer documents. The decision was announced Tuesday after a negotiated resolution was reached between the university, the former assistant coach and the NCAA enforcement staff.

The way this incident went down was that an incoming transfer needed to get a waiver to immediately play for the team that same season. Among the required documents was a letter from a former teammate in support of the player’s waiver request. 

This is where the assistant coach’s infraction comes in. Ex-assistant Hunter Jenkins–whose identity was confirmed by the Associated Press–created a fake email address for one of the transfer’s former teammates who would not respond to calls about submitting that letter. He submitted a fake statement without the former teammate’s knowledge to the associate athletics director for compliance. Not only that, but Jenkins also resubmitted the statement with a forged signature at the bottom, while still pretending to be that player.

The infraction was reported on Oct. 2, and the statement with the forged signature was removed from the player’s waiver request before it was officially submitted, according to the AP. The NCAA found no lack of institutional control and commended Buffalo for its cooperation. For their trouble, the university was fined $5,000, banned from communicating with potential recruits for two weeks and lost five recruiting days for next season. 

For what its worth, Jenkins doesn’t entirely agree with the NCAA’s findings, but he does accept that he did something against the rules.

“Although I disagree that I acted without authorization or mislead Buffalo’s athletic department, I accept my share of responsibility for mistakes made,” Jenkins told the AP in an email. “As a young coach, I will apply the lessons I learned from this situation.”

It’s not clear who, if anyone, gave him the authorization to do any part of his infractions. Jenkins faces three years of sanctions should he return to college coaching–his resignation from Buffalo was announced back in November. His punishments could include a six-game suspension, total restriction from recruiting through at least August 2021 and mandatory attendance of an NCAA Regional Rules Seminar at his own expense.

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