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INDIANAPOLIS – Kean University lacked institutional control and failed to monitor its women’s basketball program, leading to impermissible financial aid and extra benefits for its student-athletes, according to findings by the NCAA Division III Committee on Infractions.
The former women’s head basketball coach failed to establish an atmosphere of rules compliance, according to the committee, and Kean also was cited for providing financial aid packages in violation of NCAA legislation, which impacted student-athletes across four sports.
Penalties in this case, many of which were instituted by the university, include four years of probation, a four-year show-cause order for the former coach and postseason bans for four teams.
A significant number of the violations occurred due to the actions of the former head coach. In addition to failing to promote rules compliance, the committee found that the former head coach failed to operate within the athletics and institutional structure.
As an example, the former head coach was a catalyst for decisions that resulted in a student-athlete receiving an extra benefit in the form of a grade change, which allowed her to compete when she was ineligible. Additionally, Kean staff members involved in the student-athlete’s grade change did not use the established institutional procedures required for students seeking to protest grades.
Without input from the athletics administration, the former head coach also was involved in establishing a three credit-hour course to be offered in conjunction with her team’s summer trip to Spain. The committee determined the course was an extra benefit because it could only be taken by the members of the team and was not available to other students.
The university provided further extra benefits when student-athletes received institutional aid to cover a portion of their individual financial contribution toward the cost of the trip. During a women’s basketball team trip to Florida, the former head coach provided a loan to a women’s basketball student-athlete and made cash payments to two women’s basketball student-athletes. The committee emphasized as a “significant concern” that the former head coach did not report the violations either at the time she was committing them or upon returning to campus.
Further violations committed by Kean occurred from the 2007-08 through the 2010-11 academic years, when financial aid was awarded to student-athletes at a rate significantly higher than the percentage of the student-athletes in the student body. That action is a direct violation of Division III rules. Athletics leadership, ability, participation or performance were factors used to develop financial aid packages during the timeframe.
The committee specifically found that Kean lacked institutional control over its athletics department. In particular, Kean failed to adequately monitor the conduct of the former head coach; the administration acted in matters related to athletics without consulting the athletics department; and the school awarded a greater percentage of financial aid to student-athletes compared to the general student body.
The penalties include:
The members of the Division III Committee on Infractions who reviewed this case include Keith R. Jacques, chair and attorney at Woodman, Edmands, Danylik, Austin, Smith and Jacques; Dave Cecil, director of financial aid at Transylvania State; Mary Jo Gunning, director of athletics at Marywood University; and Amy Elizabeth Hackett, director of athletics at University of Puget Sound.