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Women's Volleyball Coach Failed to Promote an Atmosphere for Compliance

Occidental College failed to monitor its women’s volleyball program, according to the findings by the NCAA Division III Committee on Infractions. The former head volleyball coach provided impermissible benefits to student-athletes and prospective student-athletes and arranged for a booster to provide travel, lodging and meals to student-athletes. Additionally, the former head football coach improperly contacted 467 current football student-athletes to request they consider transferring to Occidental.

Penalties for the college include two years probation, a two-year show-cause order for the former volleyball coach, the vacation of volleyball records, a postseason ban for the volleyball team and a prohibition from off-campus volleyball recruiting for two years.

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.

The former volleyball coach failed to promote an atmosphere for compliance. The committee notes, “At the very least, the former head volleyball coach should have known that some of his activities were contrary to NCAA rules, and there are indications that he may have intentionally violated the rules.”

According to the committee’s findings, the former volleyball coach arranged for three student-athletes to travel on a booster’s private plane to a youth volleyball tournament. While at the tournament, the booster paid for the student-athlete’s lodging, meals and entertainment. Additionally, the former volleyball coach provided rental cars, travel and lodging for eight student-athletes and asked nine student-athletes to participate in out-of-season impermissible practices. While recruiting, the former volleyball coach provided impermissible apparel to three prospects and allowed 11 prospects to travel with the volleyball team and sit on the team bench.

Occidental failed to monitor the conduct and administration of its women’s volleyball program when it did not monitor prospect visits to ensure compliance or require coaches to inform the department when a prospect was coming for a visit.

The penalties include:

  • Public reprimand and censure.
  • Two years of probation, from February 7, 2013 through February 6, 2015.
  • A two-year show-cause order for the head volleyball coach. The public report contains further details.
  • Prohibition from off-campus volleyball recruiting for two years.
  • A postseason ban in 2013 for the women’s volleyball team.
  • Vacation of all volleyball records from the 2009, 2010 and 2011 season. The public report contains further details (self-imposed by the college).
  • Elimination of one volleyball tournament opportunity from the maximum number of allowable playing dates during the 2011 season (self-imposed by the college).
  • The college’s coaching staff did not facilitate a non-traditional season in spring of 2012 (self-imposed by the college).
  • Three student-athletes were declared ineligible for competition during the 2011 season and one student-athlete was withheld from 10 percent of the 2012 season (self-imposed by the college).

The members of the Division III Committee on Infractions who reviewed this case include Keith Jacques, chair and attorney at Woodman, Edmands, Danylik, Austin, Smith and Jacques; Dave Cecil, associate vice president for financial aid at Transylvania University; Nancy Meyer, director of women’s athletics at Calvin College; and Garnett Purnell, athletics director at Wittenberg University.