NCAA News Archive - 2007
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Infractions case - Purdue University
The NCAA News
The NCAA Division I Committee on Infractions has penalized Purdue University for major and secondary violations in its women’s basketball program.
The committee noted that the case was narrow in scope, but serious in nature, finding that a former assistant coach and former student-athlete violated the principles of ethical conduct. The former assistant coach committed academic fraud with the full knowledge and complicity of the student-athlete. The former assistant coach and former student-athlete also provided false and misleading information to the university regarding the violations. The same coach also made impermissible telephone calls in violation of NCAA recruiting rules and provided extra benefits to student-athletes.
Penalties for the violations include placing the university on two years of probation, a reduction in women’s basketball scholarships, permanent ineligibility for the involved student-athlete and a three-year show-cause penalty for the former assistant coach. Under the show-cause penalty, if the former assistant coach seeks athletically related employment with another NCAA member school during the next three years, she and the hiring institution must appear before the Committee on Infractions to determine whether her duties should be limited.
The former assistant coach admitted to conducting research and reading a text book to assist a former women’s basketball student-athlete with an assigned paper but denied committing academic fraud. She also admitted typing, correcting and revising the paper, which led the university to conclude in an independent assessment that the paper was partially plagiarized and thus constituted academic fraud.
In addition, both the former assistant coach and involved student-athlete provided false and misleading information to the university’s athletics compliance staff in an attempt to conceal the academic-fraud violations.
Although the former head women’s basketball coach did not violate NCAA rules, the committee stated in its report that it was troubled that the former head coach was made aware that the former assistant coach may have committed academic fraud but dismissed the allegations as not credible after conducting her own inquiry. Members of the women’s basketball staff brought the issue to the former head coach in November 2005 and again in early January 2006. The coach’s dismissal of the information conflicted with university policy, which states that possible NCAA violations should be reported immediately to the director of athletics, the respective sports administrator or the director of compliance. However, the information was not brought to the attention of those university officials until February 2006.
It also was discovered during the university’s investigation that the former assistant coach made 105 impermissible telephone calls to two prospective student-athletes. The university did not believe the violations constituted a major infraction due to a perceived lack of a significant recruiting advantage. The committee, however, concluded that because the impermissible calls were neither isolated nor inadvertent, they did not fit the definition of a secondary violation and must be considered a major infraction, regardless of the level of recruiting advantage.
This case also involved three secondary violations, which are further detailed in the public report.
In determining the penalties, the Committee on Infractions considered the university’s self-imposed penalties and corrective actions. The committee also took into account that the violations in the case were self-discovered and self-reported, as well as limited to one former coach and one student-athlete. The penalties, some of which were self-imposed by the university and adopted by the committee, are as follows:
The Committee on Infractions consists of conference and institutional athletics administrators, faculty and members of the public. The committee independently rules on cases investigated by the NCAA enforcement staff and determines appropriate penalties. The committee’s findings may be appealed to the Infractions Appeals Committee.
- Public reprimand and censure.
- Two years of probation (August 22, 2007, to August 21, 2009).
- Reduction in women’s basketball program scholarships by three. The university will reduce total grants from 15 to 13 during the 2007-08 academic year. The university already reduced one scholarship during the 2006-07 academic year.
- The institution declared the former student-athlete permanently ineligible and did not seek reinstatement. She was permitted to retain her athletics scholarship so that she could continue to pursue a degree at the university. Because she decided to remain at Purdue on scholarship, her grant-in-aid was counted as the one grant loss for 2006-07 academic year.
- The former assistant coach received a three-year show-cause penalty (August 22, 2007, to August 21, 2010).
The members of the Committee on Infractions who reviewed the case are Josephine Potuto, the Richard H. Larson Professor of Constitutional Law at the University of Nebraska College of Law and chair of the committee; Paul Dee, director of athletics at the University of Miami (Florida), and formerly the university’s general counsel; Eileen Jennings, general counsel at Central Michigan University; Ted Leland, the vice president for advancement at the University of the Pacific, and formerly the director of athletics of, among others, Stanford University; Gene Marsh, James M. Kidd Sr. Professor of Law at the University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa, School of Law; Andrea Meyers, athletics director emeritus, Indiana State University; and Dennis Thomas, commissioner of the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference and formerly director of athletics at Hampton University.
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