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Developing Story: NCAA investigates DePaul Athletics

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Developing Story: NCAA investigates DePaul Athletics

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The NCAA is investigating DePaul University’s athletic department for violations of NCAA rules and regulations, according to sources close to the men’s basketball program.

The precise nature of the investigation and the conduct being investigated is currently unknown. Sources say current and past players and coaches have been questioned by NCAA officials.

DePaul’s Office of Public Relations and Communications did not confirm nor deny the existence of an investigation, but issued the following statement:

“DePaul is committed to NCAA rules compliance, and regularly provides educational programming for its student-athletes, coaches and athletics staff, and when appropriate self-reports rules violations and takes corrective action accordingly.”

During the preliminary phase of an investigation, the national office works with the school and parties involved to conduct interviews and determine the facts in the case. From there investigators will determine if any violations have occurred and provide the school and individuals involved with a written notice of allegations before they would appear in front of an infractions committee.

The DePaulia will continue to follow this story as it develops.



Benjamin Conboy and Jonathan Ballew contributed to this report.


41 Responses to “Developing Story: NCAA investigates DePaul Athletics”

  1. Change At DPU on April 2nd, 2018 11:41 am

    Wow. So much for Jeannie’s clean program based on the academic success of “student athletes” in non-revenue generating sports. Cancel your tickets and stop your alumni donations now, folks. It’s time to #FireJLP

  2. Adam on April 11th, 2018 6:16 am

    Right on!

    I’m alum & still remember when the rosemont horizon was packed to the gills not to mention the student section had standing room only, not 4 students like I’ve seen over the yrs

    Shame on DePaul for allowing the flagship sports program to become irrelevant. It’s not even embarrassing anymore it’s just sad

    I was there when we would beat the likes of Georgetown, St John’s, Louisville & Notre dame, regularly

  3. Peter on May 30th, 2018 8:16 am

    She has needed to go for a long long time. Lack of success on the court lies directly on her doorstep. We need new AD leadership!

  4. Adam Socha on April 2nd, 2018 1:15 pm

    AHHHH!! Being a DePaul fan is so much work! We have been told for 10+ years the reason we need 15 years and 3 coaches to “rebuild” is b/c we are a clean program, do things “the right way”, focus on the STUDENT-athlete first and not the ATHLETE-student and now we are under investigation???

    I need a flow chart to keep up!

  5. Mediocrity on April 2nd, 2018 1:20 pm

    Hopefully this is FINALLY the impetus that prompts for DePaul’s President to fire the disaster that has been Jean Lenti Ponsetto’s DePaul Athletics reign. I will be dropping all six of my season tickets for the 2018-19 season unless a change is made.

  6. dpu on April 2nd, 2018 3:38 pm

    Same. Tough to repurchase with such mismanagement

  7. T on April 2nd, 2018 5:16 pm

    If they don’t, DePaul can kiss any hope of athletic achievement outside of Women’s Basketball goodbye.

  8. Done on April 2nd, 2018 8:36 pm

    They can kiss my season ticket renewal goodbye until this she and this staff is gone. Anyone who continues paying into this train wreck is a fool.

    Ray and Marge are in heaven shaking their heads watching this mess.

  9. JTL on April 3rd, 2018 12:54 pm

    Three points…….1) Will also drop my long time season tickets, if no changes. But honestly, most already have done this in recent seasons. Everyone can easily see how many are not there anymore! That’s a sad but true joke. 2) What major college Athletic Director always takes the closest seat to the Head Coach on the bench every game? Very odd. 3) Extremely disappointing that our new University President is strangely silent on points being made that have the limited fan base left so upset!

  10. juice on April 4th, 2018 1:14 pm

    you should drop them regardless lol

  11. Demon82 on April 2nd, 2018 1:31 pm

    Dear Dr. Esteban,

    Where there is smoke, there is fire. Being at the top of the accountability chain for DePaul University, I would suspect you have more information than most regarding this story / allegation. As an alum, we are asking you to be proactive and not reactive to the timing of when this story actually breaks to the public. Issues that run contrary to the integrity of DePaul do not get better with time. Please do the right thing ! It has been too long since we have.

  12. Y'all Trash on April 2nd, 2018 1:32 pm

    So DePaul is cheating and still garbage?

  13. Steve on April 4th, 2018 10:28 am

    Haha true that…unbelievable that we are under investigation and still terrible. They really need to fire JLP…I will not support or pay $1 to this school until they do so.

  14. Peter on May 30th, 2018 8:19 am


    I wrote Dr. Esteban a letter stating I was done until he made a management change at the AD level due to lack of performance. I didn’t even get the respect of a reply that my letter was received. Should tell you something!

  15. GSH on April 2nd, 2018 2:09 pm

    Does any precedent exist of a perennially bottom dwelling team boasting the we do things the “Right Way” ? Who sgned off or paid for such nonsense? Maybe rubber-stamped by feckless DePaul Board of Trustees. The right way? What the hell does that mean? We’re not talking about an Ivy here, so stop embarrassing yourselves (and us). Is the intimation that Villanova or Xavier cheat or cut corners, aren’t doing things the “Right Way”? It looks to me and to everyone in the United States that the opposite is true—on all counts.

  16. Alex on April 2nd, 2018 2:26 pm

    To say a change is needed is an understatement. Can’t believe our AD has hept her job, this long!

    Alex L.

  17. Michael Wedeven on April 2nd, 2018 2:57 pm

    This whole program is a heaping pile of rotting garbage….and are now being investigated??? I am a ONCE PROUD alum and am at the end of my rope. How this University allowed itself to become this irrelevant is beyond me….and the NEW Prez has JLP’s back?!?!?! Wow……I didn’t think the program/University could be any more embarrassing….but once again I totally underestimated the idiocy of those in charge! SHAME ON YOU DEPAUL!!

  18. Mike on April 2nd, 2018 5:25 pm

    I have been a devout DePaul men’s basketball fan since 1979, and my wife is a law school alumnus. The performance of the program and Lenti-Ponsetto’s mismanagement of it has gone beyond disgraceful to completely irrelevant. The cherry on top is what Loyola University has managed to do with their men’s basketball program (with a magnificent Graduation Success Rate). If Lenti-Ponsetto had any shame, self awareness, or genuine affection for a once proud program, she would step down. I don’t expect that to happen, and the incompetence will continue.

  19. Soveryblue2 on April 2nd, 2018 6:08 pm

    The #firejlp movement began way before Selection Sunday. Loyola or no Loyola, the problems are deep and widespread in the department. Season ticket holders should wait before repurchasing. Athletic staff members that were coerced (read encouraged) into buying season tickets, that some can barely afford, should be let out of that expectation. Perhaps it is time for the administration to listen to staff, (not those related to Lenti)student workers, grad assistants past and present, to get a better understanding of the day to day goings on up there! The “my way or the highway “ attitude has put the school in this position now. Enough

  20. FormerDePaulFan on April 2nd, 2018 6:16 pm

    Dear Student Workers and Grad Assistants in the Athletic Department,

    WE SEE YOU. WE HEAR YOU! Please speak up. We know it’s difficult, but we’ve seen the hints and crumbs you’ve been dropping all over the place. We need your stories! You can remain anonymous. Don’t let this continue!

  21. FormerDePaulFan on April 2nd, 2018 6:13 pm

    This is mind-boggling. Just when you thought it couldn’t get worse, it gets worse. Just wait until JLP’s friends and family members show up to this comment section proclaiming her a saint. I hope this is a serious investigation and not some self-reporting BS, but the official University response suggests the latter. I’m an embarrassed alum who will not attend a single game next season.

  22. John Smithson on April 2nd, 2018 9:37 pm

    Dump the broad!!! Final straw.

  23. Change At DPU on April 2nd, 2018 9:45 pm

    We don’t agree with your language, but yes, it’s time to move on from Jean Lenti Ponsetto. #FireJLP

  24. Spicoli's Van on April 2nd, 2018 10:44 pm

    The NCAA is probably investigating the program because it has sucked so bad over the last ten years. To me this is now truly the lowest point of this programs history. If this investigation along with the poor performance of the Men’s Basketball over the last ten years doesn’t get JLP fired, then this University is truly lost. As an Alumni of this University, I’m truly embarrassed with everything that is going on with it, from the poor performance of the Men’s Basketball team to the University stopping people from having free speech on campus this is truly humiliating.

  25. And then what? on April 3rd, 2018 10:28 am

    Ok, plenty of calls for for the AD’s head, but not even a sniff of a good idea as to how to fix the problem. OFF WITH HER HEAD! Is not a way to fix things just puts us further down the hole of disappointment we have now built an extension on. We live here guys, face it.

  26. Mtw on April 3rd, 2018 7:48 pm

    Getting rid of her is the 1st step In fixing the problem…she is the problem…look at her record…ur out of touch with what’s going on here, she can’t fix the problem, she’s had her chance

  27. Steve on April 4th, 2018 10:31 am

    Here we go…JLP’s first friend of family member trying to save her…Perhaps this is her under an alias trying to look for direction as clearly she doesnt know what she has been doing.

  28. Grad Assistant on April 3rd, 2018 11:09 am

    I can’t say much for what happens on the business side of things or really dealings that go on with the higher ups. However I was a graduate assistant for athletics for a few years and have seen some things. The department was able to make and enforce their own rules and the grad assistants regularly exceeded the maximum hours they could work. They took advantage of that promising more pay for all the hours but that never became anything. The bullying and outrageous behavior by the senior staff was par for the course – it very much operates at a dysfunctional level. You should really be looking into Peter Tombasco – that man is a good-for-nothing, racist bully with lots of sketchy, sketchy behavior..

  29. Sharon Smith on April 3rd, 2018 6:10 pm

    I am sorry you guys are really wrong for your comments. Are you serious?? We are talking about STUDENT ATHLETES and a program that needs some attention. Don’t address the STUDENTS that support this program for WHAT IT IS. We will get NO highly recruited players at this rate. These comments will make a parent rethink DePaul University as a top choice for their STUDENT or STUDENT ATHLETE especially coming from alumni. Sounds like some need to chill out and support the students and find another platform to vent and let the investigators do their job. We all lose when negative comments are made about the University.

  30. Soveryblue2 on April 3rd, 2018 8:58 pm

    There has been no place to go to vent frustrations and disappointments. Students and student workers deserve to share their experiences and to be heard. Recruits and enrollment should not mean more than what is happening to many RIGHT NOW. If you disagree in the athletic department, or try to point out the culture problem, there are repercussions. It’s a shame, but true.

  31. Steve on April 4th, 2018 10:35 am

    Hahaha the 2nd JLP family member or friend..Ya Sharon, excellent idea lets “be patient” as JLP recently said. Let’s continue to be patient for another 20 years and be the same, a laughing stock of the NCAA. Great idea, let’s stay positive 🙂

  32. Michael Wedeven on April 5th, 2018 7:26 am

    “We will get NO highly recruited players”…..What are you talking about….we get NO highly recruited players now as it is!!!
    “We all lose when negative comments are made about the University”……..We ALL lose now with a hack as AD. Yeah…..If you are fed up with the current DECADE of incompetence, just sit down, be quiet and say nothing. I mean how dare we criticize this prestigious University, who is totally unaccountable for any of their actions and who live and breathe in this incestuous environment where they all just pat each other on the back and tell themselves how great they are.
    Well forget that!!!! We will speak our minds and call out the pathetic state of DPU’s men’s basketball program. If JLP doesn’t like it….she can quit…..and A VAST MAJORITY OF US CANNOT FREAKIN WAIT FOR THAT DAY!!

  33. Blue Dude USA on April 3rd, 2018 7:22 pm

    “Grad Assistant” – what’s your real name and when did you work there/department? I live out of town now but used to know some friends in the ad department. You sound mad bro?

  34. Bob Smith on April 4th, 2018 8:56 am

    Folks, the damage to the university has already been done. It is widely known by good coaches that working for Jeannie at DePaul is “career suicide.” How do you think we ended up with Leito again after an extensive job search across the country?

    Just listen to Louisville basketball great Butch Beard discussing U of L’s basketball program troubles. As he says, “we don’t want to become another DePaul University,” Sad.

  35. Change At DPU on April 4th, 2018 12:46 pm

    Oh wow. Really strong quote here: “This is about the University doing the right thing for the future, because if they don’t do the right thing, this could be another DePaul University.”

  36. John Smithson on April 5th, 2018 11:36 am

    I could not find anything on JLP’s most current contract, but I am guessing that she signed a 5-year extension after her last contract expired at the end of the 2016-2017 academic year. That would put her at the end of year 1 right now with four years remaining. DePaul isn’t about to eat four years, regardless of how pitiful the men’s basketball program is. We can only hope that this NCAA investigation or her failure to file a conflict of interest document for the Wintrust deal will allow them to terminate her contract without having to provide any severance.

    Looking forward to next year, Brandon Cyrus has left the program and the return of Max Strus is questionable (not NBA material but transfer for his final year is likely). Another weak recruting class is coming in with no one rated higher than three stars. I definitely see next season as a step back with less than five conference wins once again. Its time to blow things up and start over.

  37. mike maloney on April 5th, 2018 4:34 pm

    There is absolutely no way the mens basketball team will NOT finish last in the conference in 2018-2019. Meanwhile Loyola makes it the Final Four. UIC finishes second in the CIT while De Paul sits idly by and does nothing. What a joke this program has become, both locally and nationally. De Paul and Chicago State are on about the same level right now. PATHETIC!

  38. Change At DPU on April 6th, 2018 8:58 am

    You’re not wrong. DePaul is the only Big East school that you can’t place a futures bet on to win the 2019 National Championship. The Blue Demons are so bad that Vegas didn’t even bother!

  39. Frankly speaking on April 12th, 2018 1:18 pm

    I’m jumping in late here, but there are few common threads coming through.

    (1) As a student in the late ’80’s, it is a terrible disappointment that the men’s team has been so bad, for so long. With this recent update, who would ever consider coming into this current program at DePaul.

    (2) How did the University cave to Rahm’s focus on having us take such a shitty arena deal. I don’t know how many times I’ve had friends who are season ticket holders invite me down for a game. I’m not about to drive in from the western suburbs on the weekend to the south loop, or from the north suburbs during the week. In order to get to the south loop for a week night game, I’d have to leave my office by 4p, and then I wouldn’t get home to 11p. For having such a good business program, apparently the athletics department doesn’t know a thing about demographics.

    (3) NCAA investigation and a new University President. Time to cut ties and start fresh. Basic crisis management. New President gets to clean house do to “recent developments”. There has to be a “morals” escape clause in JLPs contract that would allow the University to cut her and her entire regime out without strings.

    (4) BTW, was her current deal signed under Fr. Dennis?

    (5) Keep funding Doug. His program speaks for itself and he builds his team through many years of recruiting with his camps.

    (6) I’m a corporate marketing guy, and I have been a sponsor of area teams on many levels. Not only will the team suffer because of poor recruiting and ticket sales, but with dirt like this, no corporate partner will want to be related to this mess.

    (7) Finally, as a corporate person…why would anyone hire back someone who left the organization unless they were a proven success?!?

  40. Frankly speaking on April 12th, 2018 1:28 pm

    Oh, sorry I forgot # 8

    (8) “Ponsetto’s sister-in-law Kandace Lenti, the executive vice president at Wintrust Bank, played a key role in the multimillion-dollar naming-rights agreement for Wintrust Arena, the DePaulia has reported. Ponsetto failed to disclose a conflict-of-interest form before the deal was made, according to the report.”

    Failure to disclose and complete a conflict-of-interest form? Hmmm. Code of Conduct Violation? Grounds for immediate termination in the corporate world…

  41. mike maloney on April 16th, 2018 2:51 pm

    Well it looks like De Paul has weathered the storm. The last month people have been calling for JLP to resign. The University did just what I predicted. That is to do ABSOLUTELY NOTHING. The Loyola buzz has calmed down, and the college hoops season is over. De Paul will go into next season as overwhelming favorite to finish LAST in the conference again. By not saying anything. the university will go quietly into the summer and fall without any complaints. Congrats to school for this strategy and once again the students and fans can look forward to another season as bottom feeders in the Big East.

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