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Former Alfred State coach allowed student-athletes to compete while ineligible

Download the May 2021 Alfred State College Public Infractions Decision

A former Alfred State track and field head coach did not promote an atmosphere of compliance when he allowed two student-athletes to compete while ineligible, according to findings by the NCAA Division III Committee on Infractions.

This case was resolved through the summary disposition process, a cooperative effort in which the involved parties collectively submit the case to the Committee on Infractions in written form. The NCAA enforcement staff, school and the former head coach must agree to the facts and level of the case for this process to be used instead of having a formal hearing.

The parties agreed that in December 2019, the former head coach knowingly permitted an ineligible women’s indoor track and field student-athlete to receive travel expenses and compete under an eligible student-athlete’s name. The former head coach also involved the student-athlete and an assistant coach in the violation when he told the student-athlete she could compete under her teammate’s name and instructed the assistant coach to check the student-athlete in under that teammate’s name.

An additional violation occurred when the head coach permitted a men’s indoor track and field student-athlete to practice and compete for approximately three months (from October through December 2019) despite being notified that the student-athlete had not completed a mandatory medical exam. The committee accepted the enforcement staff’s and school’s agreement that the violation was inadvertent.

According to the decision, the head coach did not promote an atmosphere of compliance because of his direct involvement in the violations, including intentionally allowing a student-athlete to travel and compete while ineligible and involving the student-athlete and an assistant coach in the violation. These violations demonstrated a pattern of disregard and inattention to NCAA rules regarding eligibility.

Penalties, including those imposed by the college, are:

  • Public reprimand and censure.
  • One year of probation.
  • A vacation of wins in which the student-athletes competed while ineligible during the 2019-20 indoor track and field season (imposed by the college).
  • A $1,250 fine.
  • A two-year show-cause order for the former head coach. During this period, the committee restricts athletically related duties of the former head coach should he be employed by an NCAA school. The public report details the restrictions further.

The members of the Division III Committee on Infractions who reviewed this case were Sarah Feyerherm, vice president of student affairs and dean of students at Washington College; Effel Harper, associate professor at Mary Hardin-Baylor; Gerald Houlihan, attorney in private practice and chief hearing officer for the committee; Richard Lapidus, president at  Fitchburg State; and Jody Mooradian, athletics director at Salve Regina.