Georgia Tech assistant basketball coach Darryl LaBarrie resigned. Both the athletic department and LaBarrie issued statements Tuesday night confirming the development.
LaBarrie was placed on paid leave in November as the NCAA and the school investigated an allegation of an NCAA rules violation. He was replaced on an interim basis by Julian Swartz, the team’s director of recruiting and compliance.
“The NCAA review is taking longer than any of us would have hoped for,” LaBarrie’s statement began. “Therefore, as a Georgia Tech graduate who loves the school, I recently resigned my assistant coaching position with the program to alleviate one of the many distractions that the team has had to deal with this season.”
The statement added that he looked forward to returning to college coaching “and shaping the lives of young men along their journey.” He said he would not comment further as he continues to cooperate with the review process.
LaBarrie had been a seemingly ideal hire for coach Josh Pastner in May 2016. Pastner needed an assistant coach with recruiting ties to talent-rich metro Atlanta. He also needed a coach to develop guards. It wouldn’t hurt to have a coach on staff with ties to Tech. In LaBarrie, who had played for both coach Bobby Cremins and Paul Hewitt, Pastner had all three in one person.
However, LaBarrie was placed on leave for the alleged violation, which took place during an official visit of a prospect during the 2016-17 recruiting cycle who ultimately signed elsewhere. The longer the investigation took, the less likely it seemed that LaBarrie would be retained. It’s believed the resignation was offered in the last week.
LaBarrie’s name is no longer on the team page on the athletic department website.
Tech’s statement read: “Darryl LaBarrie has resigned from his position as a men’s basketball assistant coach at Georgia Tech. As this is a personnel matter and an NCAA review remains ongoing, Georgia Tech cannot comment further at this time.”
It has been a tumultuous season for Pastner’s team in his second season. Dating to October, leading scorer Josh Okogie suffered a thumb injury that sidelined him for eight games. Days later, Okogie and guard Tadric Jackson were withheld by the school pending the outcome of an NCAA investigation and were eventually suspended six and three games, respectively, for accepting preferential treatment in the form of airfare, meals and apparel. Guard Justin Moore was also suspended two games for an NCAA rules violation.
Shorthanded and injured, Tech struggled to find its bearings through the nonconference season, losing to Grambling State, Wofford and Wright State.
The Jackets are 11-12 going into their Thursday road game at Louisville.
LaBarrie’s full statement:
“The NCAA review is taking longer than any of us would have hoped for. Therefore, as a Georgia Tech graduate who loves the school, I recently resigned my assistant coaching position with the program to alleviate one of the many distractions that the team has had to deal with this season. As a college coach, father of three beautiful girls, and husband to my wonderful wife who has been terrific throughout this process, I have earned a reputation of a man of integrity that cares for student-athletes and following NCAA rules. I look forward to returning to college coaching and shaping the lives of young men along their journey. Thank you to all of my family, friends, former players, current members of the team, my teammates, and former co-workers that have been extremely supportive and positive this season. Meanwhile, as part of my continued cooperation with the review process, I will not comment further.”
Support real journalism. Support local journalism. Subscribe to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution today. See offers.
Your subscription to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution funds in-depth reporting and investigations that keep you informed. Thank you for supporting real journalism.