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Southern Illinois failed to monitor its women’s swimming and diving program

Download the Sep. 2018 Southern Illinois University Public Infraction Decision

Southern Illinois University at Carbondale did not monitor its women’s swimming and diving program and the conduct of the diving coach, according to a Division I Committee on Infractions panel. The diving coach conducted and arranged impermissible tryouts and lessons for prospects and two international student-athletes before and after they enrolled at the university.

This case was resolved through the summary disposition process, a cooperative effort where the involved parties collectively submit the case to the Committee on Infractions in written form. The NCAA enforcement staff, university and participating individuals must agree to the facts and overall level of the case to use this process instead of a formal hearing.

In addition, the head swimming and diving coach both failed to monitor the diving coach and did not promote an atmosphere of compliance. The head coach was aware the diving coach provided the lessons to the two student-athletes, but he did not consult with compliance to determine whether the instruction was allowed under NCAA rules.

The impermissible diving lessons resulted in recruiting and eligibility violations, and the student-athletes competing while ineligible. The two student-athletes arrived on campus as academic nonqualifiers and could not practice, but they received the impermissible diving lessons from the diving coach and others, including another student-athlete, at the diving coach’s request. Additionally, the student-athlete who conducted some of the lessons did so at the university’s recreational facility, which also violated NCAA rules.

The committee has repeatedly warned the membership that there must be increased monitoring when prospects move to campus before enrollment since there is an increased risk of violations. In this case, the university did not provide adequate rules education to the student-athletes, coaching staff and employees at the recreation center, which possibly could have helped limit the violations.

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

  • Three years of probation from Sept. 7, 2018, through Sept. 6, 2021.
  • A one-year show-cause order for the head coach. Southern Illinois suspended the head coach for one competition in the fall of 2017. In addition to that suspension, the head coach must be suspended for six days of competition (30 percent of the maximum allowed dates of competition) during the 2018-19 academic year.
  • A three-year show-cause order for the diving coach. Southern Illinois suspended the diving coach for two competitions during the 2017-18 academic year. In addition to that suspension, the diving coach must be suspended for five days of competition during each of the 2018-19 through 2020-21 academic years.
  • A vacation of records in which student-athletes competed while ineligible. The university will 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 reduction in the number of women’s swimming and diving scholarship equivalencies to no more than 10.85 during the 2019-20 through 2021-22 academic years.
  • Recruiting restrictions for the women’s swimming and diving program each year of probation, including a limit of 12 official visits each year; a six-week ban on recruiting communication each year; and a six-week off-campus recruiting ban.
  • Attendance by the head coach and diving coach at an NCAA Regional Rules Seminar in 2018 and 2019 (self-imposed by the university).
  • A $5,000 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 include Michael Adams, president emeritus of Georgia; Carol Cartwright, president emerita of Kent State and Bowling Green; Jody Conradt, retired head women’s basketball coach and special assistant to athletics at Texas; Thomas Hill, senior policy advisor and special assistant to the president at Iowa State; Joyce McConnell, provost and vice president for academic affairs at West Virginia;  Gary L. Miller, chief hearing officer for this panel and chancellor at Wisconsin-Green Bay; and Dave Roberts, special advisor to the president at Southern California and vice chair of the Committee on Infractions.