Kentucky prep basketball program hit with death penalty for violations

The Cordia basketball team is facing unprecedented bans for using ineligible players — WYMT screen shot

The Cordia basketball team is facing unprecedented bans for using ineligible players — WYMT screen shot

It’s been a dark couple of days at Kentucky school Cordia High in Knott County. If anyone could relate to what Cordia athletes and their fans are going through, it might just be members of the old Pony Express SMU football teams. They can certainly understand the death penalty sentiment.

As reported by the Lexington Herald-Leader and CBS affiliate WYMT, the Kentucky High School Athletic Association levied a complete competition ban against Cordia as a result of an investigation into alleged recruiting from in and out of state. The longstanding investigation, which the Herald-Leader reported had taken nearly a year to complete, found Cordia to have acted with, “the most wanton and blatant disregard for association rules in [the KHSAA’s] 97-year history.”

The penalties for the violations fall in line with just such serious transgressions. The KHSAA suspended two Cordia coaches for the entirety of the 2014-15 school year and also banned the team from all competition, both regular and postseason, during the forthcoming season. The team will also be ineligible for the 2015-16 state playoffs.

It remains unclear whether Rodrick Rhodes, a former University of Kentucky star who has served as Cordia’s head coach for three seasons, is one of the coaches penalized by the ruling. In addition to the future penalties, Cordia was forced to forfeit all of its victories from 2013-14’s 23-9 campaign, punishment for fielding an ineligible player.

The Herald-Leader has a comprehensive list of all 14 serious transgressions the Cordia program committed, but the following are the most outrageous, which all also easy violations of NCAA regulations as well:

  • Allowing a staff member to lease housing to the family of a student-athlete without ever receiving payment.
  • Providing plane tickets on two occasions to a student-athlete so he could travel out of state.
  • Facilitating housing for a student-athlete at no cost to him or his family.
  • Providing money and clothes to student-athletes.
These violations alone would put Cordia on a pretty steady assault of SMU style violations. Of course, there were even more, all of which now have landed the school in legendary infamy.