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Former Saint Peter’s head swimming coach acted unethically

Download the Public Infractions Decision

A former Saint Peter’s University men’s and women’s swimming head coach violated NCAA ethical conduct rules and did not promote an atmosphere of compliance, according to a decision issued by a Division I Committee on Infractions panel. The agreed-upon violations in this case also centered on ineligible participation, the former head coach’s involvement with an outside team and the arrangement of payment for work not performed in the men’s and women’s swimming programs.

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

Four student-athletes received expenses while ineligible and the former head coach allowed two of those student-athletes to practice and one to compete. Two of those student-athletes were nonqualifiers and the former head coach permitted them to practice with outside teams during their first year at the university. One of those teams was coached by the former coach. A third student-athlete also participated on the former coach’s outside team. NCAA rules do not allow coaches and staff members, during the academic year, to be involved with outside teams that include student-athletes with remaining eligibility. Additionally, the former head coach arranged for seven of his student-athletes to submit hours for work not performed at the university’s aquatics center.

The former head coach acted unethically and failed to promote an atmosphere of compliance when he purposely disregarded NCAA eligibility rules, ignored school direction and influenced student-athletes to lie about their ineligible participation.

A full list of penalties and corrective measures include:

  • Public reprimand and censure for the university.
  • Two years of probation for the university from Feb. 2, 2016, through Feb. 1, 2018.
  • A five-year show-cause order for the former head coach from Feb. 1, 2016, through Feb. 1, 2021. If he seeks employment at an NCAA member school, he and the school must appear before the Committee on Infractions.
  •  A vacation of records in which student-athletes participated while ineligible. The university will identify the games impacted following the release of the public report.
  • A $5,000 fine (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 Greg Christopher, athletics director at Xavier University; Joel Maturi, former University of Minnesota, Twin Cities, athletics director; Eleanor W. Myers, law professor at Temple University; Joe Novak, former head football coach at Northern Illinois University; Jill Pilgrim, attorney in private practice; David Roberts, vice president for athletics compliance at the University of Southern California; and Greg Sankey, chief hearing officer, chair of the Committee on Infractions and commissioner of the Southeastern Conference.