NCAA News Archive - 2009

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Holy Cross penalized in men's soccer

Dec 17, 2009 3:00:52 PM

The NCAA News

The NCAA Division I Committee on Infractions has placed College of the Holy Cross on two years of probation for impermissible recruiting telephone calls to men’s soccer prospects. The committee also found the university failed to monitor the former head men’s soccer coach and that the coach did not promote an atmosphere of rules compliance.

The case involved more than 300 impermissible phone calls to several prospective student-athletes, many before the contact period and others that exceeded weekly limits. In addition to probation, penalties include multiple recruiting restrictions, scholarship reductions and a two-year show-cause penalty for the former head coach.

The case was resolved through the summary-disposition process, a cooperative effort where the involved parties submit the case to the Committee on Infractions in writing. When the NCAA enforcement staff, the university and involved individuals agree to the facts of the case and penalties proposed by the university, they may use that process instead of a formal hearing.

This was the fourth summary-disposition case involving impermissible text messages, e-mail or telephone calls that the committee has reviewed within the last year.

While the case also included secondary violations, the impermissible calls were considered major violations, which are defined as “purposeful, represent a significant competitive advantage and indicate a pattern of behavior.” The committee noted that 13 prospects who received impermissible calls ultimately attended Holy Cross and participated on the men’s soccer team.

In addition to recruiting violations, the committee found that the institution failed to have adequate systems in place to monitor recruiting telephone calls made by the former head men’s soccer coach.

The penalties in this case are:

  • Public reprimand and censure.
  • Two years of probation from October 16, 2009, to October 15, 2011, which is timed with when the committee informed the college it had accepted its summary-disposition report.
  • Two-year show-cause penalty for the former head coach from October 16, 2009, to October 15, 2011.
  • Men’s soccer coaches are prohibited from conducting any recruiting activities from June 20 through December 1, 2008 (institution-imposed).
  • Men’s soccer coaches are prohibited from making in-person, off-campus contact with prospects and their parents or legal guardians from July 1 through December 31, 2008 (institution-imposed).
  • Men’s soccer coaches are prohibited from participating in off-campus recruiting evaluations from June 12 through September 1, 2008 (institution-imposed).
  • Men’s soccer coaches are prohibited from making telephone calls to prospects who have completed their junior year in high school from July 1 through November 15, 2008. From November 15, 2008, to March 1, 2009, men’s soccer coaches were allowed to call a prospect no more than twice per month (institution-imposed).
  • Men’s soccer coaches are prohibited from initiating electronic and written correspondence with prospects from June 24 until November 1, 2008 (institution-imposed).
  • Reduce the number of equivalency athletics scholarships for men’s soccer for the 2009-10 academic year to less than the value of one athletics scholarship equivalency (.804 equivalency) (institution-imposed). This action was tantamount to a self-imposed reduction of 2.196 of the scheduled athletics scholarships that were to be available for the 2009-10 academic year.

The members of the Committee on Infractions who reviewed this case include Paul Dee, lecturer of law and education at the University of Miami (Florida) and formerly the institution’s athletics director and general counsel. He is the chair of the Committee on Infractions. Other members are Melissa Conboy, deputy director of athletics at University of Notre Dame; Britton Banowsky, commissioner of Conference USA; Dennis Thomas, the commissioner of the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference and formerly director of athletics at Hampton University; and James O’Fallon, faculty athletics representative at University of Oregon.

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