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Stanford failed to monitor softball program activities

Download the Stanford University Public Infractions Decision

Stanford University did not monitor countable athletically related activity for its softball program, according to a decision issued by a Division I Committee on Infractions panel. The former head softball coach did not promote an atmosphere of compliance when he directed, supervised and had knowledge of countable activity violations in his program. Additionally, two boosters provided extra benefits to a football student-athlete.

The panel accepted the university’s self-imposed penalties and added a $5,000 fine in addition to a one-year show-cause order for the former head softball coach. During that time, if an NCAA member school hires the coach, it must conduct compliance education sessions for the coach. Penalties self-imposed by the school include a reduction in countable athletic activity for the softball team.

This case was resolved through the summary disposition process, a cooperative effort during which 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 and overall level of the case in order to use this process instead of a formal hearing.

The softball coaching staff allowed certain student-athletes to participate in practices that were not counted toward their daily and weekly countable activity limits. The softball team’s daily practice activities also sometimes exceeded the daily countable activity limits. On some occasions, the former head softball coach did not record the accurate amount of time the team participated in countable activity.

The former head softball coach did not promote an atmosphere of compliance when he submitted inaccurate countable activity reports to compliance staff and knew that the activities he directed and supervised exceeded the amount allowable by NCAA rules.

The university did not monitor the softball team’s participation in countable activity when it did not establish adequate compliance system to check these activities. Further, the university did not take action to immediately address a deficiency in the compliance system when it was identified in an internal audit.

Additionally, two boosters impermissibly provided nearly $3,500 in extra benefits to a football student-athlete, including an impermissible loan, free use of an automobile, meals and other extra benefits. The football student-athlete lived with the boosters through a program created by the school in which student-athletes paid rent for short-term housing. The program was discontinued by the university because of the risk associated with it.

Penalties prescribed by the panel include the following:

  • Public reprimand and censure for the university.
  • A one-year show-cause order for the former head softball coach from Sept. 15, 2016, through Sept. 14, 2017. During that time, any NCAA member school that hires him must conduct compliance education sessions that focus on countable athletic activity rules. He also must attend an NCAA Regional Rules Seminar.
  • A prohibition of out-of-season countable athletic activities for the softball program following the 2014 season (self-imposed by the university).
  • A reduction of softball practice by 2.5 hours per in-season week and two hours per out-of-season week during the 2014-15 and 2015-16 seasons. The reductions amounted to 60 hours per year in season and 10 hours per year out of season (self-imposed by the university).
  • A $5,000 fine.

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 Britton Banowsky, chief hearing officer and executive director of the College Football Playoff Foundation; Bobby Cremins, former head basketball coach at the Georgia Institute of Technology; Alberto Gonzales, dean of the law school at Belmont University and former attorney general of the United States; Thomas Hill, senior vice president for student affairs at Iowa State University; Gary L. Miller, chancellor at the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay; Joseph Novak, former head football coach at Northern Illinois University; and Sankar Suryanarayan, university counsel, Princeton University.