INDIANAPOLIS---The NCAA Division I Committee on Infractions has penalized Coastal Carolina University for major violations in its women’s golf program.
The case was narrow in scope and involved impermissible financial aid violations and limited to the former head coach and two student-athletes. There is also an associated finding of unethical conduct against the former head coach due to the willful and blatant nature of his violations and his refusal to cooperate fully with the investigation.
Penalties for the violations include two years of probation and a show-cause penalty for the former head coach.
This show-cause penalty outlines how the former head coach’s' recruiting and other coaching duties must be limited at any employing institutions. These limitations are further detailed in the public report.
During the 2007-08 academic year, the former head coach provided improper financial aid to two women’s golf student-athletes.
First, the former head coach provided a freshman student-athlete with $500 cash intended to cover board expenses for mid-August through October 2007. This cash was provided after the former head coach orally promised the student-athlete more financial aid during the recruiting process than what was ultimately awarded to her for the 2007-08 academic year.
During the National Letter of Intent signing period, the former head coach told the student-athlete and her parents that she would receive a full scholarship, including room and board, which might or might not include academic aid.
At the university, a full athletics grant-in-aid equaled $24,570. Based on the former head coach’s promise, the student-athlete signed an athletics grant-in-aid agreement that indicated a total estimated athletics scholarship of $9,910. This amount was increased prior to the beginning of the academic year to $13,940. However, this package did not include board and only partially covered room costs. Ultimately, the student-athlete’s parents paid the costs associated with their daughter’s room for the fall semester of the 2007-08 academic year.
In September, the former head coach provided the young woman with $500 in cash, which was intended to cover board expenses through October. At the time of the cash provision, the former head coach falsely told the student-athlete that the outstanding scholarship issue had been resolved, but the athletics business office could not make the payment in the form of a check at that time.
In a separate incident involving another student-athlete, the former head coach provided the women’s golf team’s graduate assistant coach with $100 in October 2007, with instructions to pay for a second student-athlete’s outstanding account balance for the 2007 fall semester. The graduate assistant then paid the $95 outstanding balance and returned the balance to the head coach.
During the second student-athlete’s first two academic years at the university, her athletic scholarship and in-state “Palmetto Grant” covered all of her tuition costs as promised by the former head coach and as indicated on the student-athlete’s grants-in-aid statement. However, tuition costs at the university increased by $95 per semester for the 2007-08 academic year. The former head coach failed to make the corresponding increase to the student-athlete’s athletic aid, which caused her account to be short $95 for the 2007 fall semester.
The former head coach’s involvement in the NCAA violations was troubling to the committee in several aspects. First, he violated well-known and universally understood financial aid rules. Second, he involved a graduate student assistant in one of the violations. Third, he violated the NCAA’s cooperative principle by refusing to agree to a second interview with the enforcement staff. Finally, his actions potentially could have compromised student-athlete well-being by placing the first student-athlete in a situation where funds for her board were not provided in her financial aid package, despite promises to the contrary.
The penalties in this case are as follows:
• Public reprimand and censure.
• Two years of probation (Dec. 17, 2008, to Dec. 16, 2010).
• 30-month show-cause order for the former head coach (Dec. 17, 2008, to June 16, 2011). Additional details are available in the public report.
The members of the Committee on Infractions who reviewed this case include Paul Dee, director of athletics at the University of Miami and formerly the institution's general counsel. He is the chair of the Committee on Infractions. Other members are Josephine (Jo) R. Potuto, the Richard H. Larson Professor of Constitutional Law at the University of Nebraska College of Law; Eileen Jennings, general counsel at Central Michigan University; Alfred Lechner, Jr., attorney; Dennis Thomas, the commissioner of the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference and formerly director of athletics at Hampton University; Andrea Meyers, athletic director emeritus, Indiana State University; and James Park Jr., attorney, Lexington, Kentucky.