For Immediate Release
Wednesday, July 14, 2010
Associate Director of Public and Media Relations
INDIANAPOLIS---The NCAA Division I Committee on Infractions has penalized Ball State University for major violations involving the women’s tennis program.
The violations in this case center on unethical conduct by the former head women’s tennis coach and the women’s tennis team exceeding playing and practice hour limitations.
The committee noted in its report that limitations on playing and practice hours exist to safeguard student-athlete well-being.
“Excessive participation in athletically related activities detracts from time that can be devoted to academic work and can lead to any number of dangerous medical conditions for student-athletes,” the committee stated.
Penalties in this case include three years probation and reductions in playing and practice hour limits. The former head coach received a three-year show-cause order, which outlines how athletic duties must be limited at her present or future employing institutions. The public report further details these limitations.
During the 2007 through 2009 fall semesters, the former head coach required women’s tennis student-athletes to participate in playing and practice hours that exceeded time limitations and failed to provide two calendar days off per week. At times, the former head coach did not record these activities on playing and practice logs.
The former head coach also required the student-athletes to participate in mandatory athletic activities during the summer vacation period. Prior to the end of the spring 2009 semester, she provided women’s tennis student-athletes with a 12-week conditioning program to be completed during the upcoming summer. Specifically, the student-athletes were directed to compete in at least 20 matches and report to the former head coach each Monday via e-mail with the details of their conditioning and results of their matches. The former head coach also sent individual text messages to student-athletes reminding them to report their activities over the summer, and she sent group e-mails to the team expressing her disappointment at the rate of the team’s reporting of training and match play.
The former head coach also conducted impermissible tryouts for a current and three prospective student-athletes. In addition, the committee found the former head coach provided $250 in impermissible inducements to two prospective student-athletes.
The committee cited the former head coach with unethical conduct due to her request of student-athletes to provide false and misleading information during the investigation and her requests for student-athletes to conduct impermissible practice.
The penalties, some of which were self-imposed by the institution and adopted by the committee, are below. Additional details are available in the public report.
The members of the Committee on Infractions who reviewed this case include Paul Dee, lecturer of law and education at the University of Miami and formerly the institution's athletics director and general counsel. He is the chair of the Committee on Infractions. Other members are Dennis Thomas, the commissioner of the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference and formerly director of athletics at Hampton University; Britton Banowsky, commissioner of Conference USA; Melissa Conboy, deputy director of athletics at University of Notre Dame; James O’Fallon, a law professor and faculty athletics representative for University of Oregon; and Roscoe C. Howard, Jr., attorney.