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TCU athletics program violates NCAA rules

Download the Dec. 2019 TCU Public Infractions Decision

A total of 33 TCU student-athletes in three sports were paid for work they did not perform as campus summer employees, according to a Division I Committee on Infractions decision. In addition, actions by a former head swimming and diving coach caused the number of coaches in the swimming and diving programs to exceed the maximum allowed. Further, the head coach and members of his staff directed or supervised student-athletes’ participation in practice time that exceeded limits. Because the head swimming coach was personally involved in the violations, he agreed that he failed to promote an atmosphere of rules compliance.  

Student-athletes from the football and men’s and women’s basketball programs received compensation beyond the hours they worked after they did not clock out after leaving the campus job site, according to the committee’s decision. The excess payments totaled nearly $20,000 over four years and resulted in 22 of the 33 involved student-athletes competing while ineligible.

In separate violations, the parties agreed that the former head swimming and diving coach instructed team managers to engage in coaching activities on numerous occasions, which resulted in the program exceeding the limit of six coaches in swimming and diving. The former head coach and members of his staff also led athletically related activities beyond the time limits allowed by NCAA rules. The committee noted these rules are in place for student-athlete well-being and competitive equity reasons. The head coach also did not ensure accurate reporting of student-athletes’ countable hours to the compliance office.

The case was resolved through a cooperative summary disposition, a process where involved parties collectively submit the case to the committee in written form. All participating parties must agree to the facts of the case for this process to be used instead of a formal hearing.  In this case, following a review of the summary disposition report, the committee proposed additional penalties to both the university and the head swimming coach.  The university and the head swimming coach partially contested the proposed additional penalties. The university contested the penalties through an in-person expedited penalty hearing, while the head swimming coach did so through a written submission.  Following the expedited hearing and review of the written submissions, the committee provided partial penalty relief to the university and the head coach but retained some of its proposed penalties. The university and the former coach may not appeal the violations concluded in this case but may appeal portions of the penalties the committee prescribed.

The committee prescribed the following penalties and corrective measures:

  • One year of probation.
  • A $47,148 fine. This amount includes the self-imposed penalty of $19,796, plus an additional 10% of the value of the one unit the university received for participation in the first round of the 2018 Division I Men’s Basketball Championship.
  • A one-year show-cause order for the former coach. During that period, any NCAA member school employing him must show cause why he should not have restrictions on athletically related activity.

Members of the Committee on Infractions are drawn from the NCAA membership and members of the public. The members who reviewed this case are Carol Cartwright, president emerita at Kent State and Bowling Green and chief hearing officer; Stephen A. Madva, attorney in private practice; Joel Maturi, former Minnesota athletics director; Kay Norton, president emeritus of Northern Colorado; Joe Novak, former head football coach at Northern Illinois University; and Roderick Perry, athletics director at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis.