You are here

Former Lane College head cross country coach acted unethically

Download the Jan. 2019 Lane College Public Infractions Decision

The former Lane College head cross country and track and field coach violated NCAA ethical conduct rules when he directed an ineligible women’s cross country and track and field student-athlete to compete at cross country events under the name of an injured student-athlete, according to the NCAA Division II Committee on Infractions.

This case was resolved through the summary disposition process, a cooperative effort where the involved parties collectively submit the case to the committee in written form. The NCAA enforcement staff, university and involved individuals must agree to the facts of the case for this process to be used instead of having a formal hearing.

According to the committee’s report, the athletics director and compliance director informed the former coach that the student-athlete was not eligible to compete or travel. After receiving that information, the committee found that the head coach defied it and told the student-athlete to compete in five cross country events under the name of an injured student-athlete. The student-athlete traveled and received expenses for the five cross country events and a track and field event while ineligible, contrary to NCAA rules.

The committee found the activity went undetected by the college, even when red flags were presented. For instance, after noticing that the injured student-athlete posted a top-10 finish in a cross country event, an athletics department employee congratulated the student-athlete, who informed him she did not run in the meet. The employee reported the conversation to the compliance director, but neither conducted sufficient follow-up. Additionally, the committee found that although the injured student-athlete was unable to compete, her name continued to appear on the travel rosters, meet entries and results. Lastly, the athletics director identified that the student-athlete was ineligible for competition when she was a part of a group that raised an issue about the head coach that occurred at an away meet. He reported it to the compliance director, but neither recognized that the student-athlete was prohibited from traveling and neither reported the violation.

The committee noted that due to his “deceitful actions” in directing the student-athlete to compete, travel and receive expenses while ineligible, the former head coach did not demonstrate he promoted an atmosphere for compliance.

After he was no longer employed by the college, the former coach continued to violate NCAA ethical conduct rules when he provided false and misleading information to the enforcement staff during the investigation.

The committee found the violations occurred and continued to occur because the college did not monitor the women’s cross county and women’s track and field programs during the 2016-17 academic year. The college did not provide adequate rules education to staff and student-athletes, ignored or failed to recognize red flags and potential violations and did not have adequate monitoring practices to detect the violations.

Penalties and corrective measures prescribed by the committee include the following:

  • Public reprimand and censure.
  • Two years of probation.
  • A five-year show-cause order for the former head coach. During that period, any NCAA member school employing him must show cause why he should not have restrictions on athletically related activity.
  • A postseason ban for the women’s track and field team in the spring of 2019 and for the women’s cross country team in the fall of 2019 (self-imposed by the college).
  • A vacation of records in which the ineligible student-athlete competed (self-imposed by the college).
  • The college must undergo a Blueprint Compliance Review or, if unavailable, must have an outside agency conduct a comprehensive audit of its athletics compliance program.
  • A $2,500 fine.

Members of the Committee on Infractions are drawn from NCAA membership and members of the public. The members of the Division II Committee on Infractions who reviewed this case are John D. Lackey, attorney in private practice; Richard Loosbrock, faculty athletics representative and history professor at Adams State; Melissa Reilly, associate commissioner and senior woman administrator at the East Coast Conference; Harry O. Stinson III, Committee on Infractions chair and athletics director at Lincoln (Pennsylvania); Jane Teixeira, senior associate commissioner and senior woman administrator at the Pacific West Conference; and Christie L. Ward, associate athletics director for compliance and senior woman administrator at Georgia Southwestern.