Nevada men’s basketball head coach Steve Alford and the State of Nevada Commission on Ethics agreed to a finding of an ethics violation on Wednesday, the commission said in a release.
Alford’s son, Kory Alford, also agreed to a finding of a single violation, the commission said. The ethics complaint revolved around “conduct surrounding a contract between the University of Nevada, Reno and Huntington University in Indiana,” according to the commission.
Kory Alford, who served as the Wolf Pack’s director of player development in the 2019-20 season, is the current head coach at Huntington, an NAIA-level school in Indiana. Nevada and Huntington attempted to set up a non-conference game at Lawlor Events Center for the 2020-21 season, but the game was never played due to COVID-19 concerns. It does not appear in archived versions of either school’s past schedules.
$40,000 would have gone to school of Pack coach’s son
Nevada and Southern Utah canceled a game scheduled for the 2020-21 season that was washed out by COVID issues within the Thunderbirds’ program. That game would have paid SUU $85,000 to cover its costs as the visiting team.
An attempt was made to replace the open spot on the Pack’s schedule with a game against Huntington to be played in Reno, with the visitors getting a $40,000 guarantee. No money changed hands after that game also became a pandemic casualty.
In its June 15 ruling, the state ethics commission cited Steve Alford for communication issues. One of its finding under “Terms/Conclusions of Law” reads:
“Seriousness of Violation: Alford failed to properly disclose his relationship to his son but never hid their relationship, which was well known within UNR as evidenced by the fact that UNR itself announced his son’s hiring as head men’s basketball coach at Huntington on April 14, 2020 … the seriousness of the violation is further reduced because performance on the Contract was not completed.”
Steve Alford’s violation occurred under NRS 281A.410; Kory Alford’s violation occurred under NRS 281A.400, according to the commission. Both come under the state’s “Code of Ethical Standards” heading.
The Commission on Ethics classified both coach’s violations as “non-willful.” Both coaches will accept formal admonishment from the commission and agree to undertake ethics training.
Additionally, Kory Alford is required to write to Nevada President Brian Sandoval and the school’s athletic director to encourage the Wolf Pack athletic department to adopt an ethics training program for its employees. Nevada is currently operating under interim AD Bill Johnson, but the university is in the midst of a search to replace former AD Doug Knuth on a permanent basis.
Alford is entering his fourth season as Nevada’s men’s basketball coach; he is 48-40 overall. He has also coached at the Division I level at UCLA, New Mexico, Iowa, and Missouri State, compiling a 557-309 record since the 1995-96 season.
The RGJ reached out to Steve Alford and the office of university President Brian Sandoval for comment Friday morning.
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