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Credit: Amanda Suarez

Penn Athletics and Penn men’s basketball received sanctions from the NCAA on Wednesday for the bribery scandal involving former coach Jerome Allen. 

After a negotiated resolution process was carried out by the NCAA, Penn was given several significant penalties.

For the Athletics Department as a whole, these sanctions include two years of probation and a $5,000 fine. The men’s basketball program was handed a three-week ban on all recruiting communication this spring and a seven-day reduction in allowable recruiting-person days during the 2019-20 school year. 

Potential participation in the NCAA Tournament will not be affected.

Allen received penalties as well, including a 15-year show-cause order. He will be unable to participate in an athletics-related role for any NCAA member school during that time. According to an NCAA statement released on Wednesday, Allen did not cooperate with either the NCAA or Penn Athletics while investigations were occurring. 

A Penn Athletics statement also released on Wednesday indicated that the Athletics Department accepted responsibility for Allen's violations, while also hoping that the NCAA would change the way it approaches situations like this in the future. 

“Penn Athletics was proactive in this review and fully cooperated with NCAA enforcement staff,” the statement read. “While Penn Athletics and its men’s basketball program accept the penalties handed down by the NCAA, it is unfortunate that this process did not fully differentiate wrongdoing for personal gain versus wrongdoing for competitive gain in penalizing the institution in addition to the involved individual. The University of Pennsylvania was harmed by the actions of its former head coach, and the men’s basketball program received no competitive advantage.” 

Credit: Chase Sutton

The men's basketball team huddle before a game at the Palestra. 

Penn Athletics indicated that changes have been made to the admissions process for student-athletes to prevent future violations. 

“Penn Athletics and the University’s Office of Admissions have significantly enhanced the procedures for the recruitment of student-athletes, including: an expanded recruiting history timeline, proof of recruitment documentation with the athletics compliance office, proof of athletic talent and accomplishment, and additional layers of review throughout the admissions process,” the statement read. 

The Allen bribery scandal began in July 2018, when it was revealed that he had accepted money three years earlier from Miami businessman Philip Esformes to get his son, Morris, accepted to Penn as a men’s basketball recruit. It was later revealed that Allen accepted at least $250,000 in bribes. 

After an illustrious career for the Red and Blue from 1993-96, Allen was the head coach for the Red and Blue from 2009-15. He is currently an assistant for the NBA's Boston Celtics.

Allen was not mentioned by name in either the NCAA or Penn Athletics statement.

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