2019 Quarter 4 Case Summaries

by | Jan 6, 2020

December 18, 2019: University of Houston

Summary Disposition

Key Takeaways

  • If head coach is personally involved in violation, it is an uphill battle to rebut presumption of responsibility in head coach control legislation.
  • Head coaches should ensure they set the proper tone in their programs and avoid creating a culture of secrecy and intimidation.
  • Exemplary cooperation, although illusory, is achievable with model behavior and proactively assumption of responsibility for the violations at issue.

 Level: Level II-Mitigated for Houston, Level I-Aggravated for Tutor, Level II-Aggravated for women’s volleyball Coach

Facts: This case involved four violations: academic misconduct committed by athletics department tutor and his failure to cooperate, impermissible CARA violations in women’s volleyball program and head coach responsibility violation for the women’s volleyball head coach.

Violations 1 and 2 (Academic Misconduct and Failure to Cooperate) An academic tutor wrote four papers on behalf of two football SA’s in exchange for cash The conduct was limited to a month and a half.  After leaving Houston, the tutor refused to participate in an interview unless he received money in exchange and even inquired if the enforcement staff had employment opportunities.  The Senior Associate AD for compliance discovered the potential violations when she received information that a former tutor contacted a graduate student teaching assistant about writing a student-athletes paper in exchange for money.  Houston determined the conduct violated its academic misconduct policy. As a result of the academic misconduct, one of the student-athletes competed while ineligible.

Violations 3 and 4 (CARA and Head Coach Responsibility)   The head women’s volleyball coach required student-athletes to participate in summer camps and “pre-practice” individual workouts for approximately 30 minutes prior to practice. The coach monitored the activities and the staff sometimes participated in them and these workouts occurred over three years resulting in an overage of 39 hours of CARA. Because the head coach was directly involved in the violations and did not create a culture of compliance where student-athletes felt comfortable reporting violations, she received a head coach responsibility charge. The panel applauded Houston’s efforts as they self-imposed meaningful and intentional penalties and corrective measures. Houston received exemplary cooperation for identifying and self-reporting the conduct within two months of the first occurrence and also applauded their efforts for self-imposing vacation of records and a reduction in permissible CARA by 2 hours during fall 2019 championship for women’s volleyball, no CARA hours for 17 days in Spring 2019, and only participated in two of the possible four dates of competition in Spring 2019. Additional corrective actions included: volleyball head coach and assistants relieved of their duties, tutor precluded from working in the athletics department at any capacity, increased education and training with a focus on playing and practice seasons, included practice log questions in the annual time management review, increased education on academic misconduct, increased education with tutoring staff, increase monitoring of CARA, increase education on head coach responsibility, practices logs sent to team weekly, expand exit interview process.

Violations Found The Division I Committee on Infractions cited violations in the following areas:

  1. ACADEMIC MISCONDUCT [NCAA Division I Manual Bylaws 12.11.1, 14.9.2, 14.9.2.1, 14.9.2.2(a),  8.1
  1. COUNTABLE ATHLETICALLY RELATED ACTIVITES [NCAA Division I Manual Bylaws 17.1.7.1, 17.1.7.2.1, 17.25.11, and 17.25.11.1]
  1. HEAD COACH RESPONSIBILITY [NCAA Division I Manual Bylaws 11.1.1.1]
  1. FAILURE TO COOPERATE [NCAA Division I Manual Bylaws 10.1, 10.1(a), 19.2.3.2

Penalties

Institutional Core Penalties

  1. 1 year probation
  2. $5,000 fine

Tutor Core Penalties

  1. 8 year show cause order

Head Coach Core Penalties

  1. 2 year show cause order, if she becomes employed at another institution she has to serve a suspension for 30% of the contests during her first season.

Additional penalties:

  1. Vacation of team and individuals records for the games the football student-athlete competed in while ineligible
  2. Reduction in CARA by 2 hours during championship segment for women’s volleyball
  3. No CARA for 17 days in Spring 2019
  4. Women’s volleyball only competed in 2 of the possible 4 dates in spring 2019

 

December 20, 2019: Texas Christian University

Summary Disposition

Key Takeaways

  • Institutions are responsible for the actions of their employees, even those acting for their own self-interest.
  • If head coach is personally involved in violation, it will be hard to rebut presumption of responsibility in head coach control legislation.
  • Head coaches should ensure they set the proper tone in their programs and avoid creating a culture of secrecy and intimidation.

Level: Level II-Mitigated for TCU, Level II-Standard for Former Swimming and Diving Coach Facts: This case involved violations in two unrelated areas: (1) impermissible student-athlete employment compensation in the football and men’s and women’s basketball programs; and (2) coaching staff limitations and CARA violations in the men’s and women’s swimming and diving programs. The head swimming and diving coach also received a head coach responsibility charge as a result of his personal involvement in the violations.

Violation 1 (Student-Athlete Employment) For a period of four years, 33 football, men’s basketball and women’s basketball student-athletes received compensation for work not performed at the institution’s Physical Plant Summer Maintenance program. The student-athletes found they could take advantage of the unsupervised payroll system and would leave to attend class or workouts, but not clock out.   The excess payments ranged between $74 and $2,687 per student-athlete, and totaled $19,796 over the four years.

Violations 2 and 3 (Staffing, CARA and Head Coach Control) The parties agreed that the head swimming and diving coach committed a number of actions in violation of Bylaws 11 and 17. First,  the head coach instructed the manager and graduate assistant to provide instruction during in-season organized practice time on a regular basis, which caused the program to exceed countable coaches.  The head coach also exceeded CARA hours on a number of occasions when he (1) failed to include team meetings towards permissible CARA hours; (2) arranged for the student-athletes to complete additional workouts that were not recorded on the CARA logs; (3) failed to ensure accurate recording of CARA; and (4) failed to provide a day-off on a number of occasions. Since the head coach was directly involved in the violations, the head coach failed to demonstrate that he promoted an atmosphere of compliance.

Vacation of Records The panel spent a significant amount of time discussing why they decline to prescribe a vacation of records penalty.  Bylaw 19.9.7-(g) gives the COI the option to prescribe a vacation of wins and records when student-athletes compete while ineligible. First, athletics staff were unaware of the violations because they occurred outside of athletics.  Second, the case did not involve a failure to monitor or institutional control violation.  Third, the violations did not include any athletics staff members and athletics staff was not even involved in arranging the employment.  And finally, TCU’s compliance office provided employment related education to their student-athletes.

Violations Found The Division I Committee on Infractions cited violations in the following areas:

  1. EMPLOYMENT COMPENSATION FOR WORK NOT PERFORMED [NCAA Division I Manual Bylaws 12.4.1, 12.11.1, 16.8.1]
  1. COUNTABLE ATHLETICALLY RELATED ACTIVITES [NCAA Division I Manual Bylaws 11.7.1, 11.7.3, 11.7.6, 17.1.7.1, 17.1.7.3.4, 17.1.7.6, 17.1.7.6.1]
  1. HEAD COACH RESPONSIBILITY [NCAA Division I Manual Bylaws 11.1.1.1]

Penalties

Institutional Core Penalties

  1. 1 year probation
  2. $19, 796.00 fine and 10% value of what the institution earned for participation in the first round of the 2019 men’s basketball championship (due to 1 MBB SA competing while ineligible)

Head Coach Core Penalties

  1. 1 year show cause order

Additional Penalties

  1. Two-for-one penalty in swimming and diving, requiring the program to reduce CARA hours and provide additional days off
  2. Reduction in countable coaches by one in swimming and diving program for one year

 

November 15, 2019: Seton Hall University

Negotiated Resolution

Key Takeaways

  • This case underscores the importance of head coaches following up on red flags (here, whether his associate head coach ceased contact with a transfer prospect after permission to contact was denied). Failure to do so may cause the head coach to assume responsibility for the underlying violations.
  • The parties noted in the Agreement that the cooperation and willingness to accept responsibility and significant penalties on the part of the head coach and associate head coach helped expedite the resolution of this case.

  Level: Level II-Standard for all parties (Seton Hall, Head Men’s Basketball Coach, Associate Head Coach)

Facts: This case involved transfer tampering violations that occurred when Seton Hall’s associate head men’s basketball coach had multiple impermissible contacts with a prospect at another Division I institution.  At the time this violation occurred, Bylaw 13.1.1.3 prohibited institutions from contacting student-athletes until the student-athlete’s current institution gave written permission. Here, the initial institution denied the prospect’s request to contact Seton Hall, but the initial institution did not provide the prospect with an appeal hearing so Seton Hall was permitted to contact him by default. Prior to receiving this permission to contact, Seton Hall’s associate head coach was in regular contact with the prospect’s mother. The pair had developed a strong relationship during the prospect’s recruitment out of high school and the associate head coach did not think the contacts were impermissible. The prospect’s initial institution brought the violations to Seton Hall’s attention. Seton Hall’s compliance staff interviewed the associate head coach, senior associate AD, the head coach and the prospect’s mother and concluded that no violations occurred because they reported there were not recruiting conversations or contacts with the prospects mother. A few months later, the NCAA basketball development staff received an allegation that Seton Hall had tampered with the prospect while he attended the initial institution. The NCAA enforcement staff investigated phone call logs and revealed that the associate head coach had 156 calls with the prospect’s mother while he was enrolled at the initial institution. The head coach was aware of the contacts, but did not report to compliance or confirm that the calls were permissible. The associate head coach and the prospect’s mother did not discuss the prospect’s recruitment, so the head coach was not concerned that the calls might be impermissible. The parties submitted a joint interpretation of the facts to AMA. AMA found that the calls, regardless of their content or the associate head coach’s personal relationship with the mother, were a violation of Bylaw 13.1.1.3.

Violations Found The Division I Committee on Infractions cited violations in the following areas:

  1. FOUR YEAR COLLEGE PROSPECTIVE STUDENT-ATHLETES [NCAA Division I Manual Bylaw 13.1.1.3]
    1. Over a period of 9 months, the parties agreed that the associate head coach and the prospect’s mother had a total of 243 impermissible contacts. 156 impermissible contacts occurred while the prospect was enrolled at his initial institution and an additional 87 contacts occurred after the initial institution denied the request to contact Seton Hall.
  1. HEAD COACH RESPONSIBILITY [NCAA Division I Manual Bylaw 11.1.1]
    1. The head coach was found responsible for the underlying recruiting violations. The head coach did not promote an atmosphere of compliance when he was aware that some of the phone calls occurred and failed to report to compliance. Further, the parties agreed that the head coach did not demonstrate that he monitored his staff because he did not ensure the calls to the prospect’s mother ceased when the permission to contact was denied.

Penalties

Institutional Core Penalties

  1. $5,000 fine plus 1% of men’s basketball budget
  2. Reduce number of counters in men’s basketball by 1 during 2020-2021 academic year
  3. Head coach suspended from two contests of the 19-20 season.
  4. 4 week recruiting communication ban along with his staff
  5. Three years of probation

Associate Head Coach Core Penalties

  1. 20 month show cause order that includes 4 game suspension

     

2020 Quarter 2 Case Summaries

  June 18, 2020 University of Idaho Negotiated Resolution Level: Level II-Standard for Institution and Head Coach Key Takeaways The COI accepted the enforcement staff and institution’s position that the school did not fail to monitor its athletics program because...

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