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Former College of Mount Saint Vincent soccer coach arranged impermissible loan

Download the May 2018 College of Mount Saint Vincent Public Infractions Decision

Listen to the press call:

A former College of Mount Saint Vincent head men’s soccer coach arranged for his father, a booster, to co-sign a student loan application for a recruit, according to a decision by the NCAA Division III Committee on Infractions. The athletics director violated the NCAA’s ethical conduct rules when he denied that he approved the loan arrangement.

The former head coach learned a recruit did not qualify for financial aid because of his immigration status and could not get a student loan on his own. The former head coach arranged for his father to co-sign a student loan, so the recruit could attend the college. Because the former coach’s father donated to the program previously, he was considered a booster. Since the coach and athletics director did not believe the arrangement was a violation, the student-athlete competed while ineligible after he enrolled at the college.

Before his father signed the loan, the former head coach asked the athletics director if the arrangement was permissible. The athletics director approved the arrangement and said it was permissible because the former coach’s father was not a member of the staff or a booster. The athletics director denied the conversation happened, but three other credible former athletics staff members corroborated that the athletics director was aware of and approved the head coach’s father co-signing the student loan.

According to the committee, turnover and transition among athletics directors and compliance officers contributed to the violations. The college did not hold standalone compliance meetings with coaches or consistently provide newsletters on compliance issues, which the college used as a primary tool for rules education. In its decision, the committee noted: “An athletics department with clearer compliance roles and responsibilities, better working relationships between staff members and more proactive rules education could have prevented the events underlying the violations. Instead a single violation went unidentified for months.”

The penalties include the following:

  • Public reprimand and censure.
  • One year of probation from May 3, 2018, through May 2, 2019.
  • A one-year show-cause order for the athletics director. During the one-year period, he must attend an NCAA Regional Rules Seminar.
  • A vacation of wins in which the student-athlete competed while ineligible. The college will identify the games impacted after the release of the public report.  
  • Outside audit of the college’s athletics policies and procedures, with an emphasis on compliance, rules education and the department’s organizational structure.
  • A $1,000 fine.

The members of the Division III Committee on Infractions who reviewed this case included Effel Harper, an associate professor and faculty athletics representative at Mary Hardin-Baylor; Tracey Hathaway, athletics director at Salem State; Gerald Houlihan, committee chair and attorney in private practice; Nancy Meyer, director of women’s athletics at Calvin; and Gerald Young, athletics director at Carleton.