One day after he was sentenced in a federal courtroom in Miami for accepting bribes to get a student into Wharton, former men’s basketball player and coach Jerome Allen W’09 was removed from the Penn Athletics Hall of Fame.
Allen pleaded guilty to bribery charges last October and testified in March that, while serving as the Quakers’ head coach, he took roughly $300,000 from a Florida businessman to place his son on Penn’s recruited athletes list, leading to his admission.
On July 1, almost a year after the scandal was first reported by Bloomberg, US District Judge Kathleen Williams sentenced Allen to four years’ probation, six months of house arrest, and 600 hours of community service, while ordering him to pay a $202,000 fine and an $18,000 forfeiture judgment to the US government.
The following day, Allen became the first person ever taken out of the Penn Athletics Hall of Fame.
“The University of Pennsylvania considers induction into the Penn Athletics Hall of Fame as the highest individual honor for a student-athlete or coach, and criteria for induction encompasses both athletic achievements and character,” Kevin Bonner, Penn’s senior associate athletic director of governance and administration, said in a statement. “As a result of his federal conviction, Jerome Allen has been removed from the Penn Athletics Hall of Fame.”
A two-time Ivy League Player of the Year who led the Quakers to three consecutive Ivy titles from 1993 to 1995, Allen was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2017, in the same class as his former coach Fran Dunphy. One of the most acclaimed and popular players in program history, he was hired by his alma mater as an assistant coach in 2009 before ascending to the head coaching position in the middle of the 2009–10 season when Glen Miller was fired. After several straight losing seasons, Allen was let go in 2015 and then hired as an assistant coach by the NBA’s Boston Celtics. He’ll reportedly remain with the Celtics, even while on house arrest (which typically permits work outside of the home during prescribed hours).
In his testimony, Allen also said that former Penn assistant coach Ira Bowman W’96, currently an assistant at Auburn University, knew about the payments and was involved in the scheme. Bowman was suspended by Auburn last March during the team’s run to the Final Four but reinstated following an 80-day investigation.
Penn launched its own investigation more than a year ago, hiring the compliance group Chuck Smrt and working with the NCAA. But as of early August, it was not clear if the school’s athletic department or basketball program would face any sanctions. “Penn Athletics continues to fully cooperate with the NCAA regarding the Jerome Allen case,” Bonner said in a statement. —DZ