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Former Ohio Dominican assistant football coach violated NCAA ethical conduct rules

Download the Dec. 2019 Ohio Dominican University Public Infractions Decision

A former Ohio Dominican assistant football coach violated NCAA ethical conduct rules and jeopardized student-athlete well-being when he directed student-athletes to use a banned substance, according to a decision issued by the NCAA Division II Committee on Infractions.

The committee said the former assistant coach, who was also the strength and conditioning coach, identified four football student-athletes he wanted to be stronger. He then instructed and pressured the student-athletes to use a banned anabolic agent. As a result, three of the student-athletes purchased and used Ostarine, which is banned by the NCAA. The former assistant coach then failed to follow university procedures regarding drug abuse when the three student-athletes told him they used the substance.

According to the committee’s decision, when one of the student-athletes told the former assistant coach that the Ostarine label indicated that the substance was “not for human use,” the coach said the label was just there to “scare you.”  After the student-athlete tested positive for the substance, the committee said the former assistant coach told the student-athlete he should have cleaned his system to avoid a positive test and encouraged the student-athlete to continue using the substance.

 “The former assistant coach abused his position of trust with the student-athletes,” the committee said in its decision. “The student-athletes viewed him as a mentor and confidant who had their best interests in mind. Likewise, because he was also the strength and conditioning coach, the student-athletes thought that he knew about supplements and would provide advice consistent with the university’s policy. Instead, his conduct threatened their health and safety.”

The committee said the former assistant coach failed to cooperate with the investigation when he denied his involvement in the student-athletes’ use of a banned drug. He also refused to participate in a second, in-person interview with the enforcement staff.

The case was resolved through a cooperative summary disposition, a process where involved parties collectively submit the case to the committee in written form. All participating parties must agree to the facts of the case for this process to be used instead of having a formal hearing. The former assistant coach did not participate in the summary disposition process. The university and the former assistant coach do not have the opportunity to appeal. 

The committee prescribed the following penalties and corrective measures:

  • One year of probation.
  • A 10-year show-cause order for the former assistant coach. During that period, any NCAA member school employing him must show cause why he should not have restrictions on athletically related activity.

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