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Houston Baptist failed to monitor its football program

Download the January 2018 Houston Baptist Public Infractions Decision

Houston Baptist failed to monitor the football program’s use of student hosts and the head football coach did not promote an atmosphere of compliance, according to a Division I Committee on Infractions panel.

The head coach created his own student host program in response to a shortage of allowable hosts for football prospects.  The head coach approached his daughter, a student worker in the football office, about serving as a student host.  She agreed to do so, and recruited members of her sorority to assist in providing campus tours for prospects. The program did not operate under the university’s regular campus visit policy for host groups. NCAA rules require its members to use student host programs in a manner consistent with the university’s policy for providing campus visits and tours to all prospective students. Additionally, the panel noted the creation of the student host program was contrary to extensive guidance provided by the NCAA that members may not use student host groups exclusively organized and administered within an athletics department.

The head coach failed in his responsibility when he initiated the impermissible student host program, was personally involved in the violations and did not ask the compliance staff about the group he started.

The panel also found the university’s oversight failures demonstrate the absence of certain elements of an effective monitoring program. The university did not educate its athletics staff about the proper use of student hosts and did not monitor the activity of the student hosts.

The panel used the Division I membership-approved infractions penalty guidelines to prescribe the following measures:

  • Public reprimand and censure for the university.
  • Two years of probation from Jan. 19, 2018, through Jan. 18, 2020.
  • A two-year show-cause period for the head coach from Jan. 19, 2018, through Jan. 18, 2020. During that period, he is restricted from engaging in face-to-face recruiting contacts with prospects and their family members for the first week of the contact period in both 2018-19 and 2019-20 years.
  • A reduction in the head coach’s recruiting activity by two weeks during the spring 2017 evaluation period (self-imposed by the university).
  • A limit of 26 official football visits during each of the two years during probation. The university may begin the reductions with the current academic year or starting with the 2018-19 academic year.
  • A reduction in the number of coaches participating in off-campus evaluations by one (from 11 to 10 in the fall and in the spring) during the 2017-18 academic year (self-imposed by the university).
  • A reduction in the total number of evaluation days from 210 to 120 during the 2017-18 academic year (self-imposed by the university).

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 Greg Christopher, chair of the Committee on Infractions and athletics director at Xavier; Tom Hill, senior policy advisor to the president of Iowa State; Stephen A. Madva, attorney in private practice; Joyce McConnell, provost and vice president of academic affairs at West Virginia; Joe D. Novak, former head football coach at Northern Illinois; Larry Parkinson, director of enforcement for the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission; and Sankar Suryanarayan, chief hearing officer for the panel and university counsel at Princeton.