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Penalties appealed by Hawaii case sent back to Committee on Infractions

Download the University of Hawaii, Manoa Public Report

The Division I Committee on Infractions must reconsider the penalties it prescribed to the University of Hawaii, Manoa, including the men’s basketball postseason ban, scholarship reductions and fine, according to a decision issued by the Division I Infractions Appeals Committee. 

In 2015, a Division I Committee on Infractions panel found violations of NCAA rules on impermissible coaching activities; coaching limitations; extra benefits; and participation of ineligible student-athletes.

The hearing panel assigned significant weight to the former head coach’s provision of false and misleading information, and the unethical actions of the former assistant coach, which occurred after Oct. 30, 2012. The hearing panel concluded that those violations tipped the balance in comparison to the other violations when determining when the violations predominately occurred for the case. This resulted in the hearing panel using the new infractions structure, since the violations predominately occurred after Oct. 30, 2012, when prescribing penalties for the university. 

In its appeal, the university argued that the penalties should have been imposed under the former infractions structure because the violations began before Oct. 30, 2012, the date the new infractions structure was adopted by the Division I Board of Directors.

After its review, the appeals committee determined while unethical conduct is egregious and can tip the balance, there needs to be a connection between the behavior of the coach and the university. It noted there is no indication that the university encouraged the behavior or failed to warn the coaches that such behavior would not be acceptable. The appeals committee did not find the connection needed to tip the balance to the new infractions structure. As a result, the appeals committee sent the case back to the hearing panel to determine which infraction structure is less stringent and review the postseason ban, scholarship reductions and financial penalty under that infractions structure.

Members of the Infractions Appeals Committee are drawn from NCAA membership and members of the public. The members who reviewed this case are David Williams, committee chair and vice chancellor for university affairs and athletics and athletics director at Vanderbilt University; Ellen Ferris, associate commissioner for governance and compliance at the American Athletic Conference; W. Anthony Jenkins, attorney in private practice; and Patti Ohlendorf, vice president for legal affairs at the University of Texas at Austin.