Using a point system devised by the ESPN Stats and Information department, ESPN.com came up with this bright idea to identify the 50 most successful college basketball programs of the past 50 years. The UNC Tar Heels men’s basketball program was named the number one College basketball program from this study. I could agree if ESPN went back to the past 30 years but not the past 50. Although UNC have four National titles in that 50 year time span, it pales in comparison to UCLA’s!
You just cannot look back that far and overlook UCLA’s eleven National Championships, ten under John Wooden. That alone should have been enough to secure them the number one and not the number two spot. The reason they did not obtain that was because they lost 13 points due to sanctions and vacated wins. If titles were vacated I could understand their reasoning, none of JohnWooden’s teams had to vacate wins or titles and neither did Jim Harrick’s 94-95 NCAA National Championship team. UCLA was placed on probation in 1998 for violations that occurred under Harrick’s watch from 1993-95. Harrick was dismissed on Nov. 6, 1996 for filing a false expense report.
In December 1981, UCLA was cited for nine infractions and received two years' probation, which included a one-year NCAA tournament ban and an order to vacate its 1980 NCAA national title game appearance against Louisville. This happened under the tenure of Larry Brown, but I will defend him. They were placed on probation due to Los Angeles businessman Sam Gilbert's influence on the UCLA basketball program. The most serious allegation levied against Gilbert was that he co-signed a promissory note so a player could buy a car. The NCAA ordered UCLA to disassociate Gilbert from its recruiting process. None of the violations were tied to Wooden's era.
A 1981 Times investigative series, which interviewed 45 people connected with the basketball program, established Gilbert as "a one-man clearing house who has enabled players and their families to receive goods and services usually at big discounts and sometimes at no cost."
Also keep in mind that UCLA was also placed on probation for three years in1998, the infractions occurred from 93-95 but weren’t considered thats erious. Jim Harrick was the coach during that time.
Source: LA Times Chris Dufresne
June 08, 2010