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Northeastern head track and field coach violates ethical conduct rules

(Download the report)

INDIANAPOLIS – A former Northeastern University head track and field coach violated NCAA ethical conduct rules and failed to promote an atmosphere for rules compliance, according to a decision issued by a NCAA Division I Committee on Infractions panel. The former head track and field coach arranged for flights, ground transportation and hotels for prospects, coaches and administrators from a two-year college on two occasions. Additionally, Northeastern failed to monitor the conduct and administration of its men’s ice hockey program when three former coaches placed impermissible calls and sent impermissible texts to prospects.

Penalties in this case include three years of probation for the school, ending on October 8, 2017, and a three-year show-cause order to the former head coach. During that time, if the former head track and field coach finds a job at an NCAA school, he and the school must appear before a COI panel to determine if his athletically related duties should be limited. The university also self-imposed recruiting restrictions for the men’s ice hockey program. 

This case was resolved through the summary disposition process, a cooperative effort where the involved parties submit the case to the Committee on Infractions in written form. The NCAA enforcement staff and school must agree to use the summary disposition process instead of having an in-person hearing. The former head track and field coach failed to cooperate and indicated he would not participate in the processing of this case, which allowed the COI allowed the COI to process the case as a summary disposition. Because the penalties are agreed upon by the school and involved individuals, there is not an opportunity to appeal the penalties.

The former head track and field coach violated NCAA ethical conduct rules when he arranged for flights, ground travel and/or lodging for two two-year college prospects, athletics director and several coaches. The former head track and field coach also did not take steps to avoid the violations or contact the compliance staff to report violations after two of the assistant coaches asked if providing transportation and lodging to prospects, coaches and athletics directors was allowed. Finally, the former head track and field coach violated NCAA ethical conduct rules when he did not cooperate with the investigation by failing to both providing relevant information and participate in an interview with enforcement staff.

Northeastern did not adequately monitor its men’s ice hockey program, which resulted in impermissible texts and phone calls. The university did not compare the coaches’ recruiting phone logs to the coaches’ cell phone records as a spot check and it failed to monitor the coaches’ text messages.

Penalties and measures prescribed by the committee are below:

  • Three years of probation from October 9, 2014 through October 8, 2017.
  • A three-year show-cause order for the former head track and field coach from October 9, 2014 through October 8, 2017. During this time, if the former coach is hired at another NCAA member school, he and the school must appear before a COI panel to determine if his athletically related duties should be limited

Penalties self-imposed by the university:

  • A six-game suspension for all three involved men’s ice hockey coaches.
  • Recruiting restrictions for all involved men’s ice hockey coaches. The public report contains more details.

The members of the Division I Committee on Infractions who reviewed this case include Michael Adams, president emeritus at University of Georgia; Melissa Conboy, deputy director of athletics at the University of Notre Dame; Bobby Cremins, former head basketball coach at the Georgia Tech; Thomas Hill, senior vice president for student affairs at Iowa State University; Roscoe Howard, attorney; Jim O’Fallon, chief hearing officer and law professor and faculty athletics representative at the University of Oregon; and Greg Sankey, executive associate commissioner and chief operating officer for the Southeastern Conference.