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New Hampshire booster gives cash, other benefits

 

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The University of New Hampshire failed to monitor the conduct of a booster, according to a decision issued by a NCAA Division I Committee on Infractions panel. From 2008 to 2012, the booster provided eight student-athletes and families of two student-athletes with a total of $22,336 in cash, gifts, meals, travel expenses and educational expenses.

Penalties in this case include a two-year probation period, a $5,000 fine, mandatory attendance at NCAA Regional Rules Seminars and rules education for the university’s development staff.

This case was resolved through the summary disposition process, a cooperative effort where the involved parties submit the case to the Committee on Infractions in written form. The NCAA enforcement staff, university and involved individuals must agree to use the summary disposition process instead of having a hearing.

In December 2012, the booster disclosed to the head women’s gymnastics coach that he provided financial assistance to a student-athlete. Specifically, the booster admitted that he gave $20,000 to a former gymnastics student-athlete and her mother to pay for tuition. During the course of the investigation, it was found that the booster also provided benefits to seven other student-athletes. Among the benefits, the booster provided $1,415 for a father of a women’s hockey student-athlete to purchase a plane ticket; a total of $750 on three occasions to a women’s track and field student-athlete; and graduation gifts to four women’s volleyball student-athletes.

The head women’s volleyball coach was present when the booster provided gifts to four women’s volleyball student-athletes, but the coach did not recognize that the gifts were violations of NCAA rules and did not report it to the athletics department. Additionally, a compliance staff member did not follow up on the matter to determine if the arrangement was in compliance with NCAA rules upon learning that a student-athlete was going to receive educational expenses from an outside source. Because of this, the university failed to monitor the conduct of the booster.

Penalties and corrective measures for the university are below:

  • Public reprimand and censure.
  • Two years of probation from June 27, 2014 through June 26, 2016.
  • A fine of $5,000.
  • Mandatory attendance at NCAA Regional Rules Seminars during the probation period for all athletics compliance staff and the women’s ice hockey and volleyball head coaches.
  • Development of a comprehensive educational program on NCAA rules for coaches, faculty athletics representatives, athletics department staff, development and fundraising staff and others.

The members of the Division I Committee on Infractions who reviewed this case include Eleanor W. Myers, chief hearing officer and law professor and faculty athletics representative at Temple University; Norman Bay, director of enforcement at the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission; John Black, attorney; Carol Cartwright, president emeritus at Kent State University; Roscoe Howard, attorney; Joel Maturi, former University of Minnesota athletics director; Sankar Suryanarayan, university counsel, Princeton University.