The Seton Hall Pirates have suspended head coach Kevin Willard for two games. This suspension comes during an NCAA probe into the potential tampering of a transfer. The player in question is Syracuse Orange transfer Taurean Thompson who is now with Seton Hall. Willard will miss the scrimmage game against Misericordia and the season opener against Wagner.
Seton Hall has issued a statement on Kevin Willard’s two-game suspension via a release: pic.twitter.com/9gMqzbRysh
— Jon Rothstein (@JonRothstein) October 29, 2019
The highly ranked Pirates can ill afford a poor start to their season or distractions like this. Assistant coach Grant Billmeier will serve as the head coach for the two games that Kevin Willard is suspended. The university had the following to say on the suspension and situation.
“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.”
The Pirates are seriously favored to make a solid run this year and are hoping for a Sweet 16 appearance if not a better mark. The NCAA is expected to rule soon on the situation and will likely decide of the two games are sufficient. Tampering is believed to be a widely spread problem in the NCAA transfer portal but is rarely punished. The accusations are hard to prove and therefore are hard to dish out punishment. It is hard to make an assumption about the NCAA’s ruling. Seton Hall and Kevin Willard will just have to wait and find out.