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Former Jackson State tennis coach acted unethically, failed to monitor program

Download the Jackson State Public Infractions Decision

A former Jackson State University men’s tennis head coach violated NCAA ethical conduct rules when he allowed an ineligible student-athlete to compete under an eligible student-athlete’s name, according to a decision issued by a Division I Committee on Infractions panel.

The former coach also failed to promote an atmosphere of compliance within the tennis program. He provided impermissible benefits to a prospect during recruitment and later permitted the same student-athlete, who was a nonqualifer upon enrollment, to practice and compete.

 The director of compliance notified the former coach that the student-athlete was a nonqualifer when the recruit enrolled and therefore was ineligible for practice and competition. Despite knowing that, the former coach allowed the student-athlete to practice with the team. The former coach also allowed the student-athlete to receive travel-related expenses on two occasions, contrary to NCAA rules.

The former coach provided the student-athlete with impermissible recruiting benefits when he was a prospect. The panel determined those actions were a Level III violation, or isolated in nature.

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, the involved individual and the university must agree to the facts and overall level of the case in order to use this process instead of a formal hearing.

Penalties and corrective measures include the following:

  • Public reprimand and censure for the university.
  • One year of probation for the university from July 1, 2016, to June, 30, 2017.
  • A two-year show-cause order for the former coach from July 1, 2016, to June 30, 2018. During that period, if he is hired at an NCAA member school, he is prohibited from all coaching and recruiting duties.
  • A vacation of records in which the student-athlete participated while ineligible. After the release of the public report, the university will identify the competition affected.
  • 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 Michael F. Adams, chancellor, Pepperdine University; Carol Cartwright, president emeritus, Kent State University; Gregory Christopher, athletics director at Xavier University; Jack Ford, legal analyst for CBS News; Joseph Novak, former head football coach at Northern Illinois University; Larry Parkinson, director of enforcement for the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission; and Gregory Sankey, chief hearing officer, chair of the Committee on Infractions and commissioner of the Southeastern Conference.