WEST ORANGE – Seton Hall men’s basketball coach Kevin Willard has been suspended two games as the NCAA investigates an infraction, the school announced.
While Seton Hall didn’t address the specific infraction, the Asbury Park Press reported the investigation involved transfer tampering. The New York Post, in turn, said it involved the transfer of Taurean Thompson from Syracuse in 2017.
Willard, who missed the Pirates’ 112-38 victory over Misericordia in an exhibition game on Tuesday night, also will sit out their regular-season opener versus Wagner on Nov. 5.
Assistant coach Grant Billmeier ran the team on Tuesday and will do so again against the Seahawks.
Seton Hall’s athletics department released an official statement on Willard’s suspension and the NCAA’s involvement in the investigation on Tuesday.
“Seton Hall University has been working collaboratively with the NCAA enforcement staff to address an infraction within our men’s basketball program,” the statement said. “Our department has been proactive in our review and has been fully cooperating with the NCAA enforcement staff. As head coach, Coach Willard assumes responsibility for the program, including this underlying violation, and has agreed to sit out the October 29 exhibition contest and the November 5 game.
“This matter is still in review, and as a result, we will refrain from commenting any further until it is resolved. Seton Hall is and always will be committed to a culture of compliance, and we will continue to work diligently to ensure it.”
Willard, 44, has posted a 170-128 record since becoming Seton Hall’s coach prior to the 2010-11 season. He owned a 45-49 mark as head coach of Iona from 2007-09. The Pirates have appeared in four straight NCAA Tournaments.
–Field Level Media