You are here

Baruch lacked institutional control

Download the Baruch College Public Infractions Decision

Listen to the media teleconferece.

Baruch College failed to exercise control over the conduct and administration of its athletics program, according to a decision issued by the Division III Committee on Infractions. The college’s lack of policies and procedures in the administration of financial aid, combined with weak oversight of two former staff members, resulted in 30 student-athletes receiving $255,097 in impermissible financial aid and benefits over the course of five years. Additionally, a former vice president for student affairs and enrollment management, and a former head women’s basketball coach both violated NCAA ethical conduct rules when they arranged and/or provided impermissible financial aid and extra benefits for student-athletes.

Penalties in the case include four years of probation, a one-year postseason ban for the women’s basketball team and one-year show-cause orders for both the former vice president and former head coach. During the show-cause periods, both individuals are prohibited from athletically-related duties.

The college, a City University of New York school, deviated from the policies it did have and considered athletics when granting financial aid. It violated NCAA rules when it granted in-state residency based on athletics; impermissibly provided financial aid, cash awards and extra benefits; and selected student-athletes for resident assistant positions when they were not qualified.

In-state residency status was granted to seven student-athletes who did not meet the existing official policy qualifications. In four of those instances, staff members, including the former vice president and the former head coach, were directly involved in the process of granting the impermissible in-state residency. Because the college deviated from its existing financial aid policies and granted residency based on athletics, it violated NCAA rules.

The college provided impermissible financial aid and cash awards from various sources to 22 of the total 30 involved student-athletes. Thirteen of the 22 student-athletes received financial aid based on athletics criteria. Eight of the 13 student-athletes did not meet the criteria for the financial aid they received. Further, of the 22 student-athletes, 11 received one-time cash awards of $500 each based on athletics participation. Additionally, the college allowed a student-athlete to continue to be enrolled despite not paying tuition or dorm bills. Either the former vice president or former head coach, or both, were involved in the arrangements or approval of the impermissible aid for five student-athletes.

The former vice president and/or the former coach were involved in the selection of three student-athletes as resident assistants. Although they did not meet the existing official policy qualifications for the positions, the former vice president selected the three based on their status as student-athletes.  

The former head coach and former vice president acted in an unethical manner when they arranged and/or provided the impermissible financial aid and extra benefits to student-athletes.

The former head coach stated he knew athletic ability or participation could not be considered when giving financial aid to student-athletes and that Division III rules prohibited him from attempting to change financial aid packages. However, he directly influenced decisions that resulted in student-athletes receiving impermissible financial aid based on athletics.

The former vice president wanted to raise the profile of athletics at the college and, as a part of that effort, he was closely involved in the recruitment, admission and awarding of financial aid for prospects and student-athletes. Even though he knew that under Division III rules, financial aid based on athletics could not be provided to student-athletes, he approved, directed or influenced the impermissible financial aid and benefits provided to student-athletes over the course of five years.

The college lacked institutional control when it failed to ensure its processes did not consider athletics when determining financial aid, cash awards and employment arrangements; did not ensure the resident assistant selection process for student-athletes was the same as existing policies for the general student population; and did not monitor the conduct of the former vice president and former head coach.

Penalties and corrective measures include:                           

  • Public reprimand and censure for the college.
  • Four years of probation for the college from June 30, 2016, to June, 29, 2020.
  • A one-year show-cause order for the former vice president from June 30, 2016, to June 29, 2017. During that period, if he is employed by an NCAA member, he must be prohibited from all athletically-related duties, including the admissions process and awarding of financial aid for prospects and student-athletes.
  • A one-year show-cause order for the former head coach from June 30, 2016, to June 29, 2017. During that period, if he is employed by an NCAA member, he must be prohibited from all athletically-related duties and attend an NCAA Regional Rules Seminar.
  • A 2016-17 postseason ban for the women’s basketball team.
  • An outside audit of the college’s athletics program, with an emphasis on financial aid policies and procedures. The school must implement all recommendations made by the reviewer.
  • A number of staff members must attend at least one NCAA Regional Rules Seminar during the period of probation.

Members of the Division III Committee on Infractions are drawn from NCAA membership and members of the public. The members of the panel who reviewed this case are Dave Cecil, associate vice president for financial aid at Transylvania University; Amy Hackett, committee chair and director of athletics at the University of Puget Sound; Tracey Hathaway, associate director of athletics for compliance and student-athlete welfare at the University of Massachusetts Boston; Gerald Houlihan, attorney in private practice; and Gerald Young, athletics director at Carleton College.