Henderson State University did not monitor its women’s basketball program to assure it was in compliance with NCAA tryout and recruiting rules, according to a decision issued by the Division II Committee on Infractions. A former head women’s basketball coach violated the NCAA ethical conduct rules and failed to promote an atmosphere for compliance due to his involvement in the violations. The same former head coach provided impermissible meals to prospects and their family members and offered a loan to a prospect and her family.
Penalties include two years of probation, a reduction of women’s basketball scholarships, a $2,500 fine and show-cause orders for the two former head coaches. If the former coaches seek employment at an NCAA member school during their respective show-cause periods, the coaches and the new employing school must appear before the Committee on Infractions to determine if the school should restrict athletically related duties.
With regard to recruiting violations, two women’s basketball student-athletes were allowed to drive a prospect from her two-year college to the university’s campus for her official paid visit. The university allowed a prospect to take two official visits, when NCAA rules only allow one. Additionally, coaches frequently did not request pre-approval for travel or reimbursement. Coaches used personal funds which resulted in the institution losing control of recruiting expenses. During the same time period, women’s basketball coaches also exceeded the limits on phone contacts and sent impermissible texts.
The women’s basketball program also broke NCAA tryout and countable athletically related activity rules. The committee notes there was a lack of consistent monitoring in a number of areas. The compliance office did not require coaches to submit travel requests or reimbursements per institutional policy, did not ensure that official or unofficial visit records were submitted, and did not monitor whether basketball activities occurred during official visits, summer workout periods or other times outside the playing season. The university did not follow its own processes when incomplete forms such as contact and evaluation logs, official visit records and others were submitted, but no efforts were made to follow up and obtain complete information. Despite these shortcomings, staff did not recognize these issues as significant and areas that needed to be addressed and corrected.
A former head coach engaged in unethical conduct when he knowingly broke NCAA rules by offering a loan to a prospect, and later gave the university false and misleading information about his involvement in possible violations during its investigation. Additionally, the same former head coach did not promote an atmosphere for compliance in the women’s basketball program due to his involvement in some of the violations in this case.
Penalties and corrective measures, including those self-imposed by the university:
- Public reprimand and censure.
- Two years of probation from July 29, 2014 through July 28, 2016.
- A $2,500 fine.
- Show-cause orders for the two former head coaches. The public report contains the further details:
- A two-year show-cause order for the former head coach who violated NCAA ethical conduct rules.
- A one-year show-cause order for a former head coach involved in secondary violations noted in the public report.
- A reduction of 4.95 scholarships from the allowable maximum of 10.0 scholarships during the 2013-14 academic year (self-imposed by the university).
- Recruiting restrictions, including:
- Removed texting privileges of all women’s basketball coaches from November 12, 2012 to April 17, 2013 (self-imposed by the university).
- Prohibited off-campus recruiting activities from November 12, 2012 to April 17, 2013 (self-imposed by the university).
- Suspended all official visits from November 12, 2012 to April 17, 2013 (self-imposed by the university).
- Eliminated all tryouts on the university’s campus from November 12, 2012 to April 17, 2013 (self-imposed by the university).
- A reduction of countable athletically related activity from November 12, 2012 through the end of the 2012-13 basketball season. Details can be found in the public report (self-imposed by the university).
- Attendance at an NCAA Regional Rules Seminar by the athletics director, chief athletics compliance staff member, the senior woman administrator and the faculty athletics representative.
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, professor of sport management, Southern New Hampshire University; Jean Paul Bradshaw, attorney and public member; Bridget E. Lyons, associate director of athletics, Barry University; Julie Rochester, chair and faculty athletics representative and associate professor, Northern Michigan University; Carey Snyder, associate director of athletics, East Stroudsburg University of Pennsylvania; Harry O. Stinson III, assistant athletics director for compliance, Kentucky State University; and Jane Teixeira, Assistant Commissioner and Senior Compliance Administrator, Pacific West Conference.