DI Committee on Infractions Case Study # 1

Committee on Infractions Case Study # 1

Facts:

  • Head men’s basketball coach and two basketball staff members assisted basketball prospects with the completion of online coursework in order to gain eligibility.
    • Four prospects came to campus during the summer prior to initial full-time enrollment at the institution; each prospect had initial-eligibility deficiencies. They enrolled in distance-learning courses in order to gain eligibility.
    • The men’s basketball coach provided completed coursework and exams on several occasions to those four prospects in order for those prospects to submit the work as their own for online distance-learning courses.
    • Additionally, the head coach, an assistant coach and a special assistant helped arrange for these prospects to complete distance learning course exams without proctors. In these instances, the coaches forged proctor signatures on proctor exam documentation that is submitted to the online entity responsible for administering the distance learning courses.
    • Lastly, the assistant coach paid for one distance learning course on behalf of a prospect.
  • Head men’s basketball coach arranged for boosters to be sponsors for three international prospects’ student visa applications. Specifically, the head coach coordinated with boosters to serve as financial sponsors for these prospects in order to demonstrate that these international prospects would have sufficient financial support during their time as students; at least two prospects had never met these boosters and were unaware of their involvement as financial sponsors on their student visa applications.
    • Head coach claimed that he asked the assistant admissions director if it would be ok to include these individuals as sponsors on the visa applications; the assistant admissions director was not educated regarding NCAA rules. The assistant admissions director indicated that the arrangement was ok under state and federal law but did not provide any confirmation regarding NCAA rules.

Findings:

  • Academic Misconduct (providing completed coursework for prospects to submit)¬†
    • ¬†Level I
  • Impermissible Recruiting Inducements (Proctor Issue, Paying for course)
    • Level I
  • Head Coach Responsibility
    • Level I
  • Failure to Monitor (Institution)
    • Level II
  • Impermissible Recruiting Inducements (Arranging for boosters to serve as financial sponsors on visa application)
    • Level II

Penalties:

  • Two years probation
  • $5,000 fine
  • One year post-season ban
  • Reduction of six scholarships over three-year period (two per year)
  • Recruiting restrictions
    • Reduced # of official visits to 5 total visits each year over three-year period.
    • Reduced # of off-campus recruiting person days to 90 each year over three year period.
    • Imposed 10-week recruiting call and correspondence limitations at beginning of relevant year for three-year period.
  • Eight-year show-cause order for head basketball coach
  • Public reprimand and censure
  • Vacation of team and individual records (during period where student-athletes competed while ineligible)

Takeaways:

  • Institutional staff members who provide coursework for prospective or enrolled student-athletes commit Level I violations.
  • Knowing provision of impermissible academic inducements or benefits constitutes a Level I violation.
    • Arranging for straw-man proctors
    • Paying for online summer courses
  • An individual can violate Bylaw 13.2.1 (recruiting inducements) even when he/she believes in good faith that a particular benefit is permissible.
  • Failure to monitor violations are Level II unless the failure is substantial or egregious
  • A vacation of team and individual records penalty is particularly appropriate when cases involve ineligible competition and a failure to monitor violation.