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St. Francis Brooklyn women’s basketball head coach impermissibly contacted recruits, provided inducements

Download the December 22, 2020 public infractions report

The St. Francis Brooklyn women’s basketball head coach had 254 impermissible communications and 11 impermissible contacts with three student-athletes from her prior university and provided impermissible inducements to those same student-athletes, according to an agreement released by the Division I Committee on Infractions. 

The college, the coach and the NCAA enforcement staff also agreed the coach did not get permission through the notification-of-transfer process before she contacted the student-athletes. The agreement noted that none of the student-athletes transferred to the school. The parties also agreed that the school demonstrated a failure to monitor her relationship with her prior student-athletes.

The violations occurred when the head coach incorrectly believed that conversations with student-athletes at her previous school were permissible, according to the agreement. The coach also incorrectly believed the inducements — which included purchasing meals and providing lodging during visits — were permissible because of her “close” preexisting relationship with the former student-athletes and parents. According to the agreement, the coach did not promote an atmosphere for compliance since she was personally involved in the violations, some of which took place with other members of her staff present. 

This case was processed through the negotiated resolution process. The process was used because the university, the coach and the enforcement staff agreed on the violations and the penalties. The Division I Committee on Infractions reviewed the case to determine whether the resolution was in the best interests of the Association and whether the agreed-upon penalties were reasonable. Negotiated resolutions may not be appealed and do not set case precedent for other infractions cases.

The university and the enforcement staff used ranges identified by the Division I membership-approved infractions penalty guidelines to agree upon Level II-standard penalties for the university and the coach. Those and other penalties, approved by the Committee on Infractions, are detailed below: 

  • Two years of probation, through Dec. 21, 2022.
  • A $5,000 fine.
  • A two-year show-cause order for the coach. During that period, she must be prohibited from participating in all recruiting communication contacts and off-campus recruiting for six weeks during the next contact period. The coach also must reduce her number of evaluation days during the next recruiting cycle by three. 
  • The coach must be suspended for three regular-season contests (approximately 17% of the regular-season competitions). 
  • A reduction by 7% of the number of scholarships in women’s basketball during the 2021-22 academic year.
  • A reduction in official visits for women’s basketball by six for the rolling 2021-22/2022-23 period.
  • A prohibition of unofficial visits for four weeks during the 2021-22 academic year.
  • A reduction by 22 of the number of recruiting-person days during the 2021-22 academic year.
  • A prohibition of recruiting communications for four weeks during the 2021-22 academic year.
  • The head coach must attend two NCAA Regional Rules Seminars in 2021 and 2022. 

If an opportunity to serve a penalty will not be available due to circumstances related to COVID-19, the penalty must be served at the next available opportunity. 

Members of the Committee on Infractions are drawn from the NCAA membership and members of the public. The members of the panel who reviewed this case are: 

Greg Christopher, chief hearing officer for the panel and vice president for administration and athletics director at Xavier; Bobby Cremins, former head men’s basketball coach at Appalachian State University, Georgia Tech and the College of Charleston; and Mary Schutten, executive vice president and provost at Central Michigan.