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Charleston Southern women’s volleyball coach had impermissible contact with student-athletes, parents

Download the Oct. 2020 Charleston Southern University Public Negotiated Resolution

The Charleston Southern women’s volleyball head coach had 79 impermissible contacts with at least eight student-athletes and two parents of student-athletes he previously coached or recruited at a different university, according to an agreement released by the Division I Committee on Infractions.

The university, the coach and NCAA enforcement staff agreed the coach did not get permission through the notification of transfer process before he contacted the student-athletes and parents. One of the student-athletes transferred to the university, the agreement noted.

The director of compliance incorrectly believed that coaches’ cordial conversations with former student-athletes, such as congratulatory and birthday messages, were permissible, according to the agreement. The coach had the same understanding, based on the compliance director’s advice, and contacted the former student-athletes and parents. Most of the conversations were casual, but there were limited examples of the coach wanting some of his former student-athletes to be a part of his Charleston Southern team.

According to the agreement, the coach did not promote an atmosphere for compliance since he was personally involved in the violations.

This case was processed through the negotiated resolution process. The process was used because the university, the coach and the enforcement staff agreed on the violations and the penalties. The Division I Committee on Infractions reviewed the case to determine whether the resolution was in the best interests of the Association and whether the agreed-upon penalties were reasonable. Negotiated resolutions may not be appealed and do not set case precedent for other infractions cases.

The university and the enforcement staff used ranges identified by the Division I membership-approved infractions penalty guidelines to agree upon Level II-mitigated penalties for the university and the coach. Those and other penalties, approved by the Committee on Infractions, are detailed below:

  • One year of probation, which extends the university’s current probation period through Oct. 15, 2021.
  • A $5,000 fine.
  • A one-year show-cause order for the coach. During that period, he is prohibited from participating in all recruiting communication contacts and off-campus recruiting for two weeks during the next contact period. The coach also must reduce his number of evaluation days during the next recruiting cycle by four.
  • The coach must be suspended from 10% of the next season. The suspension will be served during home games.
  • The university must include a letter of admonishment in the coach’s human resource record.
  • The head coach must attend one NCAA Regional Rules Seminar in 2021 at his own expense.

Members of the Committee on Infractions are drawn from the NCAA membership and members of the public. The members of the panel who reviewed this case are Bobby Cremins, former head basketball coach at Georgia Tech; Thomas Hill, senior policy advisor to the president of Iowa State; and Kay Norton, president emeritus of Northern Colorado.