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Former Florida International University women’s basketball coach acted unethically

Download the April 2017 Florida International University Public Infraction Decision

The former head women’s basketball coach at Florida International University acted unethically and did not promote an atmosphere of compliance in his program when he provided $600 in cash to a student-athlete, according to a Division I Committee on Infractions panel.

This case was resolved through the summary disposition process, a cooperative effort where the involved parties collectively submit the case to the Committee on Infractions in written form. The NCAA enforcement staff, university and participating parties must agree to the facts and overall level of the case to use this process instead of a formal hearing. The panel held an expedited penalty hearing because the former coach and school did not agree with some of the proposed penalties.

The former head coach provided $600 to a student-athlete so she could pay an outstanding balance on her student account and enroll in a winter term course needed to maintain academic eligibility. He gave the money even though he knew that type of payment was not allowed under NCAA rules. The student-athlete then completed the course and competed in 18 games.

The panel found the former head coach acted unethically when he knowingly provided the money to the student-athlete. Additionally, the former head coach did not demonstrate that he promoted an atmosphere of compliance when he knowingly violated NCAA rules and allowed the student-athlete to compete while ineligible.

The panel used the Division I membership-approved infractions penalty guidelines to prescribe the following measures:

  • Public reprimand and censure for the university.
  • Two years of probation from April 28, 2017, through April 27, 2019.
    • The university contested the probation period in the expedited hearing; however, the panel determined the penalty was appropriate because of the seriousness of the violations and the advantage the university gained. The panel also noted the penalty is within the range prescribed by the penalty guidelines. 
  • A two-year show-cause period for the former head coach from April 28, 2017, through April 27, 2019. During that period, any NCAA member school employing the former coach in an athletics role must suspend him from all coaching duties. Additionally, he must be suspended the first 50 percent of the first season he is employed by a member school after completing the show-cause period.
    • The former head coach requested an expedited penalty hearing to contest the length of his show-cause penalty. After the hearing, the panel determined the penalty was appropriate due to the intentional and serious nature of the violations.
  • A vacation of all wins in which the student-athlete competed while ineligible. The university will identify the games impacted after the release of the public report. 
  • A $5,000 fine.

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 Carol Cartwright, president emeritus at Kent State and Bowling Green; Gregory Christopher, athletics director at Xavier; Joel Maturi, chief hearing officer for this panel and former Minnesota athletics director; Joyce McConnell, provost and vice president of academic affairs at West Virginia; Gary L. Miller, chancellor at Green Bay; and Joseph D. Novak, former head football coach at Northern Illinois.