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Christian Brothers University head tennis coach provided impermissible benefits

Download the Christian Brothers University public infractions decision.

The Christian Brothers University head men’s and women’s tennis coach provided impermissible benefits to an international prospect on two separate trips to the university, according to a decision issued by the NCAA Division II Committee on Infractions.

The head coach violated NCAA head coach responsibility and ethical conduct rules when he was personally involved in the violations. Additionally, the university did not monitor its athletics program.

The case was resolved through cooperative summary disposition, a process where involved parties collectively submit the case to the committee in written form. The NCAA enforcement staff, the head coach and university must agree to the facts of the case for this process to be used instead of having a formal hearing. Since the university and head coach agreed with the violations and penalties, there is no opportunity to appeal.

During the prospect’s two trips to campus, the head coach allowed her to stay in his home and provided her with meals, transportation, access to a private tennis club, and university apparel, all free of charge. At no time during either visit did he ask the compliance staff whether his actions were allowable. Since the head coach personally committed the violations, he engaged in unethical conduct and could not demonstrate that he promoted an atmosphere for compliance.

The head coach told the university’s compliance officer that the prospect was trying to gain admission to the university but was having issues with her international visa. The compliance officer met the prospect, but the compliance officer did not ask about the prospect’s visit and did not receive an unofficial visit form from the head coach. Ten days later, the compliance officer saw the prospect in the head coach’s office and then asked questions about the prospect’s situation and believed NCAA rules violations may have occurred. The committee noted, “Had the compliance officer posed those questions upon initially meeting the prospect, she may well have detected the violations earlier and prevented some of them from continuing or occurring at all.”

The committee prescribed the following penalties and corrective measures:

  • One year of probation.
  • A reduction of women’s tennis scholarships from 6.0 to 4.0 during the 2019-20 academic year (self-imposed by the university).
  • A $1,000 fine (self-imposed by the university).
  • A prohibition of women’s tennis official visits from September 2018 through September 2019 (self-imposed by the university).
  • A prohibition of off-campus recruiting for women’s tennis from September 2018 through September 2019 (self-imposed by the university).
  • A comprehensive review of athletics policies and procedures by a qualified outside entity during probation. The university must implement all recommendations made by the reviewer.
  • A one-year show-cause order for the head coach. During that period, the head coach must complete the recruiting modules in the DII University compliance education system by Sept. 1, 2019 (self-imposed by the university), and he must meet weekly with the associate director of athletics for compliance to present all updated countable athletically related activity and recruiting logs (self-imposed by the university).

Members of the Committee on Infractions are drawn from NCAA membership and members of the public. The members of the panel who reviewed this case are John David Lackey, attorney in private practice; Richard Loosbrock, faculty athletics representative and history professor at Adams State; Melissa Reilly, associate commissioner and senior woman administrator for the East Coast Conference; Jason Sobolik, assistant athletics director for compliance and student services at Minnesota State University Moorhead; and Harry O. Stinson III, Committee on Infractions chair and athletics director at Lincoln (Pennsylvania).