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NCAA appeals committee sends former director of men's basketball operations of California State University, Northridge, case back to the Committee on Infractions for reclassification

Download the Jan. 2018 CSUN Infraction Appeals Committee Decision

The NCAA Division I Infractions Appeals Committee sent the former director of men’s basketball operations of California State University, Northridge, case back to the NCAA Division I Committee on Infractions for reclassification and penalty review. The appeals committee overturned the panel’s finding that the former director of men’s basketball operations knowingly committed academic misconduct on behalf of four student-athletes. The appeals committee upheld the finding that the former director of operations provided impermissible academic extra benefits to eight student-athletes.

The Committee on Infractions panel classified the case as a Level I-aggravated. The appeals committee’s decision directs the Committee on Infractions to review the case without the academic misconduct finding to determine the classification and then adjust the penalties consistent with that classification’s penalty guidelines. 

            In the Committee on Infractions’ decision, the panel found the former director of operations acted unethically when he committed academic misconduct for and provided impermissible academic benefits to a total of 10 men’s basketball student-athletes. The panel based its findings on the use of the former director of operations’ work computer to complete online coursework for several student-athletes. The former director of operations denied completing coursework or providing impermissible academic benefits to student-athletes; however, the panel did not find him to be credible.

            In his appeal, the former director of operations argued the findings against him should be set aside as not a violation of NCAA rules or contrary to the information presented during the hearing.

            In its decision, the appeals committee found the totality of the record supports the finding that the former director of operations knowingly provided impermissible academic extra benefits, but it did not support the finding that he knowingly arranged for fraudulent academic credit.

            The members of the Infractions Appeals Committee who heard this case were Patti Ohlendorf, acting committee chair and vice president for legal affairs at the Texas; Ellen Ferris, associate commissioner for governance and compliance at the American Athletic Conference; Jack Friedenthal, professor emeritus at George Washington; and W. Anthony Jenkins, attorney in private practice.