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If the NCAA is correct, Donnie Tyndall is in big, big trouble

Donnie Tyndall

Southern Mississippi coach Donnie Tyndall watches during an NCAA college basketball game against UTEP in Hattiesburg, Miss., Wednesday, Feb. 20, 2013. (AP Photo/Hattiesburg American, Ryan Moore) NO SALES


It’s safe to say that former Tennessee, Southern Miss and Morehead State head coach Donnie Tyndall is probably going to end up going a pretty long time between college coaching gigs.

On Friday, the NCAA dropped the Notice of Allegations on Southern Miss, where Tyndall was employed before being hired by Tennessee prior to the 2014-15 season. And that document more or less states that Tyndall was -- allegedly -- cheating his butt off.

Where do we start?

How about with the fact that the NCAA alleges that Tyndall’s staffers did the coursework for seven recruits that he was targeting, five of whom eventually enrolled at Southern Miss? That’s a Level I violation. Or how about this: One of Tyndall’s former assistants told the NCAA that Tyndall specifically hired two staff members just to be able to commit this academic fraud, and that the cheating was so well thought-out that they would send those staffers on trips to the towns the recruits were living in order for the correct IP addresses to be on record.

There’s more. What about the accusation that Tyndall was paying out of pocket for room and board for two athletes that were not immediately cleared by the NCAA, making them unable to remain on scholarship as they sat out a season? That’s another serious violation, as is the fact that he used burner phones and his mom’s cell phone to try to hide communication between himself and the high school coaches of those prospects as he tried to coverup those payments. All told, he’s alleged to have given them almost $8,500 in cash and prepaid credit cards.

What’s more is that, since Tyndall was the head coach of the program, he was charged with failure to monitor his program, as the blame for violations committed by staff members now falls at the feet of the head coach as well.

But that’s not where Tyndall is in the most trouble.

He’s charged with misleading the NCAA during the investigation, from lying during his interviews to trying to hide his communication with other people involved in the investigation to deleting emails from an account at Morehead State which he still had access to. They know all this because one of Tyndall’s former assistants -- presumed to be Wade O’Connor -- sang after he lost his job on the Southern Miss staff.

Bruce Pearl got a three-year show-cause penalty when the NCAA found out that he lied about having recruits at his house for a barbecue, which was against NCAA rules.

The NCAA believes Tyndall lied about much more than that.

We may not be seeing him anytime soon.