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UCLA associate head football coach acted unethically

Download the UCLA Public Infractions Decision

An associate head football coach at the University of California, Los Angeles, violated NCAA ethical conduct rules when he paid for two prospects to receive private training, according to a decision issued by a Division I Committee on Infractions panel.

The panel accepted the university’s self-imposed penalties and added a $5,000 fine and a two- year show-cause order for the coach. UCLA must submit a plan for compliance to the Committee on Infractions on how it will educate and monitor the athletically-related activities of the coach during the period of the show-cause order.

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

The coach admitted to paying $2,400 for housing and private training sessions on behalf of the two prospects, but he was not aware that it violated NCAA rules. While the school and coach stated that he received ample rules education, the panel noted that the coach incorrectly believed it was permissible to pay for the training because he believed the two prospects signed National Letters of Intent. The coach violated NCAA ethical conduct rules because he should have known that his arrangement would not be allowed.

Additionally, the football program provided one of the prospects with a second official visit even though NCAA rules allow only one official paid visit to a campus.

Penalties prescribed by the panel include the following:

  • Public reprimand and censure for the university.
  • A two-year show-cause order for the coach from Sept. 16, 2016, through Sept. 15, 2018. If he seeks employment at an NCAA member school during that time, he and the school must appear before the Committee on Infractions. He also must attend an NCAA Regional Rules Seminar each year of the show-cause period.
  • A $5,000 fine.

The university self-imposed the following penalties:

  • A reduction of one full-time football coach for the spring recruiting period, from April 15 to May 30, 2015.
  • A reduction in the number of spring football evaluation days from 168 to 150 for the spring 2015 recruiting period.
  • A reduction in the number of official visits from the university’s four-year average by two for the 2015-16 academic year.
  • A reduction of one full-time football coach for the spring practice period, from March 31 to April 25, 2015.
  • A reduction of one full-time coach for the first two games of the 2015-16 football season.   

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 Alberto Gonzales, dean of the law school at Belmont University and former attorney general of the United States; Thomas Hill, senior vice president for student affairs at Iowa State University; Gary L. Miller, chancellor at University of Wisconsin-Green Bay; Joseph Novak, former head football coach at Northern Illinois University; Gregory Sankey, chair of the Committee on Infractions and commissioner for the Southeastern Conference; and Sankar Suryanarayan, chief hearing officer and university counsel, Princeton University.