UI coach Verlin placed on administrative leave

Idaho head coach Don Verlin instructs his team during a Nov. 13 game against Nicholls State at Memorial Gym in Moscow.

The final paragraph of this story has been edited for more clarity.

Idaho men’s basketball coach Don Verlin has been placed on administrative leave amid three potential NCAA violations, the school confirmed Tuesday.

Idaho spokesman Mike Walsh said the university reported the violations to the NCAA.

“I can confirm that we have self-reported what the university believes to be NCAA violations within the men’s basketball program, and those have been reported to the NCAA,” Walsh said. “I cannot comment on why Verlin has been placed on administrative leave.”

The university said it received a report from consultant firm Ice Miller last Wednesday, the day before he was placed on leave. The report outlined “instances over the course of a few seasons,” the Spokesman-Review reported Tuesday.

None of the violations included monetary payment, and one minor violation involved operations staff member and former player Stephen Madison practicing with the team, according to the Spokesman.

A source within the university said Verlin knowingly committed some minor practice violations during the season, which were investigated and seemingly corrected.

Walsh said the administrative leave was set for 10 days, but the situation is fluid. He said the university expects an update by June 8.

“June 8 is the report date for student-athletes, so an update may mean as little as naming an interim head coach,” Walsh said. “But we would expect something by the time the student-athletes (arrive).”

In 10 seasons with Idaho, Verlin is 177–176. The Vandals went 5-27 last season, a year after a 22–9 campaign.

Verlin’s time with the Vandals has not been without drama.

In 2015, an agitated Verlin was shown on video grabbing a binder out of an assistant coach’s hands and tossing it into the stands during a loss at Northern Arizona. Verlin then gestured for seven-year assistant Chris Helbling to leave the bench.

According to a release by the team, Verlin was required to attend leadership development classes and pay a fine of $5,000 following the incident.

In 2016, Verlin’s twin brother, Ron, was fired as head coach at Pacific for academic misconduct after a lengthy administrative leave.

“There are a lot of options available to the NCAA at this point and we just wait for them to tell us,” Walsh said, in reference to the NCAA's reaction to the potential violations UI reported.

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