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Infractions Appeals Committee upholds former Alabama assistant coach’s penalty

Download the Dec. 2017 University of Alabama Asst. Football Coach Public Appeals Decision

A former assistant football coach at Alabama must serve a two-year show cause order, according to a decision by the NCAA Division I Infractions Appeals Committee. A Committee on Infractions panel found the former assistant coach violated ethical conduct rules when he provided false or misleading information about impermissible recruiting contacts.

The former assistant coach received a two-year show-cause order from April 14, 2017 through April 13, 2019 for the violations. During that period, any NCAA member school employing the former coach in an athletics role, including his current school, must restrict him from all off-campus recruiting activities.

In his appeal, the former coach argued that the show-cause order should have begun on the date of his resignation from the university rather than the date of the infractions panel announcement.

However, the appellate committee noted that neither NCAA rules nor past cases consider timing other than the announcement of penalties as the start date. The committee also noted the infractions panel provided substantial leniency to the former assistant coach given that he was subject to a show cause order ranging from a minimum of five years to a maximum of 10 years with a prohibition on all athletically related duties. The infractions panel noted in its decision that this shorter show-cause penalty was due to the nature of the underlying recruiting violations and the university’s swift action once the violations came to its attention.

The members of the Infractions Appeals Committee who heard this case were Patti Ohlendorf, vice president for legal affairs at the University of Texas at Austin and committee chair; Susan Cross Lipnickey, associate athletics director for student-athlete services and senior woman administrator at Xavier University; Ellen Ferris, associate commissioner for governance and compliance at the American Athletic Conference; Jack Friedenthal, professor emeritus at George Washington University; and W. Anthony Jenkins, attorney in private practice.