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Former West Texas A&M football coaches violated ethical conduct rules

Download the West Texas A&M Public Infractions Decision

A former West Texas A&M University head football coach engaged in unethical conduct and failed to promote an atmosphere for compliance when he provided false information during an investigation and asked student-athletes to also provide false information, according to a decision issued by the Division II Committee on Infractions.

A former assistant football coach also engaged in unethical conduct when he provided impermissible benefits to a student-athlete and gave false information during the investigation. Additionally, a former assistant coach did not report academic misconduct when he learned that a football student-athlete completed coursework for his teammate.

Penalties in this case include three years of probation, football scholarship reductions, vacation of games in which an ineligible student-athlete competed, and show-cause orders for the former head coach and two former assistant coaches. During the show-cause periods, each former coach must meet certain conditions and may have his athletically-related duties restricted.

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 involved individuals must agree to the facts of the case in order for this process to be used instead of having a formal hearing. The committee held an expedited penalty hearing for two involved individuals.

The former head coach provided false information at least twice during the investigation when he told the school that two student-athletes purchased MLB tickets in advance of a game and then directed them to lie when asked about when they paid for the tickets. Because he was not truthful during the investigation, he violated the NCAA’s ethical conduct rules and did not promote an atmosphere for compliance.

The former assistant coach violated the NCAA’s ethical conduct rules when he provided cash to a student-athlete and then lied to his former and current schools about the payment during each respective investigation.

Two student-athletes engaged in academic misconduct when one completed and arranged for his family to complete coursework for the other to keep him eligible. Because the student-athlete competed after his teammate completed his coursework, he obtained fraudulent academic credit and competed while ineligible. Before the season started, a former assistant coach learned about the academic misconduct but did not report it.

Additionally, football coaching staff arranged for six student-athletes, who transferred from junior colleges to receive free housing when they arrived at the university before classes began.   

Penalties and corrective measures prescribed by the committee include:

  • Public reprimand and censure.
  • Three years of probation from March 23, 2016, through March 22, 2019.
  • A two-year show-cause order for the former head coach from March 23, 2016, through March 22, 2018. The show-cause conditions are:
    • An indefinite suspension from all off-campus recruiting, starting Feb. 1, 2014, and any future off-campus recruiting requires approval from the athletics director (self-imposed by the coach’s current employer).
    • Attendance at a 2016 NCAA Regional Rules Seminar at his own expense (self-imposed by the coach’s current employer).
    • Appearing before the Committee on Infractions with the employing school if he leaves his volunteer position and becomes a paid employee at an NCAA school.
  • A two-year show-cause order for the former assistant coach who provided false information during the investigation from March 23, 2016, through March 22, 2018. The show-cause conditions are:
    • Three months of mandatory rules training with the compliance office (self-imposed by the coach’s current employer).
    • A two-week suspension from off-campus recruiting in December 2013, two weeks in spring 2015 and from Nov. 15 to Dec. 31, 2014 (self-imposed by the coach’s current employer).
    • Vacation of his bonus pay (self-imposed by the coach’s current employer);
    • Attendance at a 2016 NCAA Regional Rules Seminar at his own expense (self-imposed by the coach’s current employer).
    • Ethics training during the first year of the show-cause order.
    • A one-game suspension during the first conference game of the 2016 season.
  • A two-year show-cause order from March 23, 2016, through March 22, 2018, for the former assistant coach who did not report the academic misconduct. If the former coach becomes employed by an NCAA school during the show-cause period, he and the school must appear before the Committee on Infractions to determine if the former coach’s athletically-related duties should be limited.
  • Reduction of football scholarships from 36 to 32.49 for the 2016-17 year. The figure represents the four-year scholarship average from the 2011-12 through 2014-15 years, including the university’s self-imposed two-scholarship reduction in 2013-14.
  • The former head coach was restricted to on-campus recruiting only from June 2013 through May 1, 2014 (self-imposed by the university).
  • A $5,000 fine.

Members of the Committees on Infractions are drawn from NCAA membership and members of the public. The members of the Division II Committee on Infractions who reviewed this case are Douglas D. Blais, professor of sport management, Southern New Hampshire University; John D. Lackey, attorney; Bridget E. Lyons, senior associate director of athletics and senior woman administrator, Barry University; Julie Rochester, chair and faculty athletics representative and associate professor, Northern Michigan University; Carey Snyder, associate director of athletics, East Stroudsburg University of Pennsylvania; Harry O. Stinson III, associate athletics director of compliance, Central State University; and Jane Teixeira, associate commissioner and senior woman administrator, Pacific West Conference.