SAVANNAH, Ga. (AP) -- Minnesota administrators spent nearly 11 hours before an NCAA infractions committee Saturday arguing against sanctions for alleged rule violations in its women's basketball program.
The NCAA could impose cuts in scholarships and recruiting or even shut down the program for two years if it rules Minnesota violated a four-year probation that began in October 2000. The school expects a decision in no more than six weeks.
Both the NCAA and the university have accused former women's basketball coach Cheryl Littlejohn of giving $200 to $300 to a player, buying clothes for others and encouraging players to lie in an investigation.
The alleged violations of NCAA rules were discovered after Minnesota went on probation for a messy academic fraud scandal in the men's basketball program that led to the dismissal of coach Clem Haskins.
University officials argued Littlejohn actually broke the rules before the probation began for the men's basketball affair.
"Our position is that there's a magic date -- October of 2000," university president Mark Yudof said after the hearing.
Since Littlejohn's alleged violations occurred before then, administrators argue the university shouldn't be subject to the penalties in the NCAA's "repeat violator rule." They argue self-imposed sanctions, such as cutbacks in recruiting visits, are enough punishment.
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