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NCAA Division II Committee on Infractions Penalizes Lynn University

Embargoed Until

EMBARGOED UNTIL 3 p.m. Eastern Time Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Stacey Osburn

Associate Director of Public and Media Relations


INDIANAPOLIS---The NCAA Division II Committee on Infractions has penalized Lynn University for major and secondary violations in the institution's softball program. The violations include impermissible benefits and unethical conduct by the former head softball coach.

Penalties for the violations include placing the university on two years of probation, a vacation of records to include the national championship title in 2005, and a reduction in available softball scholarships. In addition, the former head coach was given a two-year show-cause penalty. Under this penalty, the university where the former coach is currently employed must appear before the Committee on Infractions if it does not agree to limit his duties as outlined by the committee. The current employing university has agreed to abide by this penalty.

During the spring of 2005, the former head coach intentionally supplied two student-athletes with cash payments totaling $3188.61. These payments are considered impermissible benefits, causing the student-athletes to become ineligible for competition. However, the former coach allowed the two student-athletes to compete throughout the spring 2005 softball season, which culminated in a national championship for the university.

The committee found the former head coach knowingly provided impermissible benefits to the two student-athletes, intentionally provided false or misleading information during the investigation, and attempted to improperly influence one of the student-athlete’s statements during the investigation.

The committee stated in its report it was troubled by the former head coach’s intentional violations and his continuing deceit. In addition, the committee stated by asking a young student-athlete to be untruthful, the former head coach completely disregarded her wellbeing and his responsibility to act as a role model. As a result of these actions, the committee charged the former head coach with unethical conduct.

The committee also found one secondary violation in conjunction with the case, which is further detailed in the public report.

This case was originally scheduled to be considered through the summary disposition process, which is a cooperative effort that may be used in place of a formal Committee on Infractions hearing. This process is utilized when the NCAA enforcement staff, university and involved athletic staff members agree to the facts of the case and those facts involve major violations.

However, the committee felt additional penalties were warranted in this case. The university agreed to a portion of these new penalties, but felt the penalty calling for a vacation of records to be “excessive.” As such, an expedited hearing regarding the disputed penalty was held. 

In determining the penalties, the committee considered the university's self-imposed penalties and corrective actions. The penalties, some of which were self-imposed by the institution and adopted by the committee, are as follows:

Public reprimand and censure.
  • Two years of probation from July 17, 2007 to July 16, 2009 (self-imposed by the university).
  • Reduction of the maximum softball grants-in-aid equivalency limit by 0.16 to a limit of 7.04 for the 2006-07 academic year (self-imposed by the university).
  • Institutional recertification that current athletics policies and practices conform to all requirements of NCAA rules (self-imposed by university).
  • Declared the two student-athletes as ineligible for intercollegiate athletics. Each student-athlete was required to repay the value of the impermissible benefits to charity. One student-athlete was withheld from the first 30 percent of the 2006 softball season (self-imposed by university).
  • The university shall vacate all contests, including the conference championship and NCAA tournament games, in which the two student-athletes competed while ineligible. Because the two student-athletes were unaware of their ineligibility, their individual records do not have to be vacated. The university’s records regarding softball as well as the record of the former head softball coach shall be reconfigured to reflect the vacated records. The vacation shall be recorded in all publications in which records for softball at the university are reported, including but not limited to university media guides, recruiting materials and institutional and NCAA archives.
  • The former head coach’s current employing university shall appear before the committee and show cause why it should not be subject to penalty if it does not agree to limit the coach’s activity as detailed by the committee in the report.

    The Division II Committee on Infractions consists of conference and institutional athletics administrators, faculty and a member of the public. The committee independently adjudicates cases investigated by the NCAA enforcement staff and determines appropriate penalties. The committee's findings may be appealed to the Infractions Appeals Committee.

    The members of the NCAA Division II Committee on Infractions who reviewed this case are Bruce Kirsh, chair, athletic director and vice president, Franklin Pierce College; Larry Blumberg, faculty athletics representative and chair of math department, Washburn University of Topeka; Jean Paul Bradshaw II, attorney, Lathrop & Gage L.C; Sherry Kennemer, senior woman administrator and associate director of athletics, University of North Alabama; and Wendy Taylor May, assistant athletic director, University of California, San Diego


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