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Former Alaska Anchorage Coach Provides Benefits, Acts Unethically

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The former head women’s basketball coach at the University of Alaska, Anchorage provided money to two student-athletes, resulting in a violation of the NCAA’s ethical conduct standards, according to findings by the Division II Committee on Infractions. The former head coach promised the women’s basketball players full scholarships, but when unable to deliver the full amount, the former head coach directed a former volunteer coach to deposit money into the student-athletes’ accounts to supplement the scholarships.

Penalties, including those self-imposed by the university, include two years of probation, a vacation of records, a reduction of women’s basketball scholarships, a suspension from the first three conference games for the former head coach at his current employing school and a two-year show-cause order for the former head coach. During the show-cause period, the former head coach will be limited in his duties in his current job.

This case was resolved through the summary disposition process, a cooperative effort where 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 of the case in order for this process to be utilized instead of having a formal hearing. An expedited penalty hearing was held because all parties did not agree to all of the proposed penalties.

Prior to arriving on campus, the families of two women’s basketball players noticed the amount listed on their scholarship papers did not amount to a full scholarship, as the former head coach promised. The families were assured that all costs would be covered once the student-athletes enrolled. The families and student-athletes were unaware that the coach’s solution to cover the full scholarship violated NCAA rules. Four different times, the former head coach provided his own money to the volunteer coach and directed her to deposit a total of $7,320 into two women’s basketball student-athletes’ accounts.

The former head coach did not promote an atmosphere for compliance when he directed the volunteer coach to participate in the violations. Additionally, the former head coach violated the NCAA’s ethical conduct rules when he knowingly broke the rules.

Further violations occurred when a booster provided extra benefits when he accompanied the team to away games. The booster arranged and paid for local transportation, a pregame meal and entertainment. The committee determined this violation was secondary and the school disassociated the booster.

Penalties include:

  • Public reprimand and censure.
  • Two years of probation from May 2, 2014 through May 1, 2016.
  • A $5,000 fine.
  • A two-year show-cause order for the former head coach. During this period, the committee restricts athletically-related duties of the former head coach at his current NCAA school, as detailed by his current employing school. The public report contains the further details.
  • A suspension from the first three conference games for the former head coach at his current employing school.
  • A vacation of results for the women’s basketball program from the 2011-12 regular season and conference tournaments in which a student-athlete participated while ineligible. The public report contains further details.
  • A reduction of 0.74 scholarships from the allowable maximum of 10.0 scholarships during the 2014-15 academic year.
  • An external audit of the school’s athletics program will be conducted (self-imposed by the school).

Members of the Division II Committee on Infractions are drawn from NCAA membership and members of the public. The members of the committee who reviewed this case are Douglas Blais, faculty athletic representative, Southern New Hampshire University; Jean Paul Bradshaw, acting chair and attorney; Bridget E. Lyons, associate director of athletics, Barry University; Harry O. Stinson III, assistant athletic director, Kentucky State University; and Jane Teixeira, assistant commissioner of compliance, Pacific West Conference.