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Former West Liberty men’s soccer coach failed to promote an atmosphere of compliance

Download the May 2019 West Liberty University Public Infractions Decision

A former West Liberty men’s head soccer coach failed to promote an atmosphere of compliance in his program and violated NCAA ethical conduct rules when he made tuition payments for two student-athletes, according to a decision issued by the NCAA Division II Committee on Infractions.

The case was resolved through cooperative summary disposition, a process where 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.

Both student-athletes had outstanding tuition bills from the previous semester and could not enroll for the upcoming fall semester. According to the committee, the former coach knowingly violated well-known financial aid rules by using $5,000 from his personal camp account to make the tuition payments for the student-athletes.

In its report, the committee stated that the membership expects head coaches to be responsible for promoting an atmosphere for compliance. It continued that “in this case, the head coach failed that responsibility by knowingly violating financial aid and extra benefit rules through personally paying the tuition charges.”

The former coach violated ethical conduct rules when he provided false and misleading information during the investigation, the committee said in its decision. During the investigation, the head coach stated that he made a tuition payment for only one student-athlete, but subsequent interviews with other student-athletes revealed that he paid tuition for a second student-athlete. 

The committee prescribed the following penalties and corrective measures:

  • One year of probation.
  • A two-year show-cause order for the former coach. During that period, any NCAA member school employing him must show cause why he should not have restrictions on athletically related activity.
  • A limit of no more than eight scholarship equivalencies from the nine allowed in men’s soccer for the 2019-20 and 2020-21 seasons (self-imposed by the university).
  • A vacation of records in which the ineligible student-athlete competed (self-imposed by the university). The university must provide a written report containing the matches impacted to the NCAA media coordination and statistics staff within 45 days of the public decision release.
  • A $3,500 fine.

Members of the Committee on Infractions are drawn from NCAA membership and members of the public. The members of the panel 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 athletic 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.