INDIANAPOLIS---The NCAA Division II Committee on Infractions has penalized Saint Leo University for impermissible benefits and ineligible participation in its cross country and swimming programs. This case also involves unethical conduct by the former and current head cross country coaches.
Penalties in this case include two years probation, recruiting restrictions, the elimination of the cross country nonchampionship spring segment, and a financial penalty. The penalties also include a two-year show-cause order for both the former head men’s cross country and swimming coach, as well as the current head cross country coach.
These show-cause penalties outline how the coaches' recruiting and other coaching duties must be limited at their present and any future employing institutions. The public report further details these restrictions.
This case was resolved through the summary disposition process, a cooperative effort where the involved parties submit the case to the Committee on Infractions in written form. 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 this process instead of a formal hearing.
During fall 2008, two student-athletes who were partial qualifiers and ineligible for participation traveled and competed under assumed names at cross country meets. This participation was under the direction of the former and current head coach. As a part of these competitions, the student-athletes received extra benefits, including impermissible meals and lodging.
In addition, the former cross country and swimming coach provided $848 in extra benefits to three student-athletes by providing them with bicycles, helmets, running shoes, sunglasses and other triathlon equipment and apparel.
The committee found the former head coach displayed unethical conduct for his knowing involvement in NCAA violations, providing false and misleading information and withholding facts from the university regarding the violations, and encouraging others to provide false information.
The current head coach also was found to have displayed unethical conduct for her knowing involvement in the violations and her failure to report known violations.
The penalties in this case, including those self-imposed by the university, are as follows:
- Public reprimand and censure.
- Two years of probation (October 19, 2009, to October 18, 2011).
- Eliminated the nonchampionship segment in the spring for cross country in 2009.
- One year of university probation for the present head coach as a condition of her continued employment by the athletics department.
- The current head coach is required to attend an NCAA Regional Rules Seminar.
- No off-campus recruiting for the present head coach from July 1, 2009, through June 30, 2010.
- Over the term of probation, no university cross country student-athlete can compete “unattached” in any event in which the university’s cross country team is participating. This means the student-athletes can only compete in team events, not individual competitions.
- The university shall pay a fine of $750.
- Two-year show-cause order for the former head coach (October 19, 2009, to October 18, 2011). Further details are in the public report.
- Two-year show-cause order for the current head coach (October 19, 2009, to October 18, 2011). Further details are in the public report.
The members of the NCAA Division II Committee on Infractions who reviewed this case are Wendy Taylor May, chair, senior associate athletics director, University of California, San Diego; Bruce Kirsh, athletics director and vice president, Franklin Pierce University; Jean Paul Bradshaw II, attorney, Lathrop & Gage LLC; and Julie Rochester, faculty athletics representative and associate professor, Northern Michigan University.