The NCAA Division II Committee on Infractions (“COI” or “Committee”) is an independent administrative body comprised of individuals from the NCAA Division II membership and the public charged with deciding infractions cases involving member institutions and their staffs. COI is charged with deciding infractions cases involving member institutions and their staffs. This case involved the head men’s and women’s tennis coach at Christian Brothers University (“CBU”) providing impermissible recruiting inducements to an international prospective student-athlete on two separate trips to the institution. His actions also violated NCAA legislation pertaining to head coach responsibility and unethical conduct. The violations also established CBU’s failure to monitor its athletics program. COI considered this case through the cooperative summary disposition process in which all parties agreed to the primary facts and violations, as fully set forth in the summary disposition report (“SDR”). COI adopted the institution’s self-imposed penalties and proposed further penalties to CBU and head coach. Both agreed to the proposed additional penalties; therefore, there is no opportunity to appeal.
The violations occurred over seven weeks in July and August, 2018, and involved the head coach providing the prospect with cost-free lodging in his home, free meals and transportation, the free use of a private tennis facility and institutional apparel. The prospect came to campus twice during that period, once in conjunction with a tennis event and once in an attempt to work out potential admissions issues. On both occasions, the head coach allowed her to stay cost-free in his home and provided her with cost-free meals and local transportation. On one of the visits, he allowed her to use a private tennis club and provided her with two items of apparel. The parties agreed that the head coach’s actions violated ethical conduct and head coach responsibility legislation. Finally, because CBU personnel were aware that the prospect was in the vicinity but did not ensure in a timely fashion that the visits were occurring consistent with all applicable recruiting legislation, the parties agreed that the violations demonstrated CBU’s failure to monitor aspects of its athletics program. The parties also agreed that all violations are major.
COI accepted the parties’ factual agreements and concluded major violations occurred. Utilizing NCAA bylaws authorizing penalties, COI adopted and prescribed the following principal penalties: one year of probation, a $1,000 fine, recruiting restrictions, grant-in-aid reductions and a one-year show-cause order for the head coach.
The Committee concluded that CBU committed the following violations:
Violations of NCAA Division II Manual Bylaws 13.2.1 and 13.2.3-(h) (2017-18 and 2018-19) and 13.2.3-(b) and 13.2.3-(g) (2018-19)
CBU, the head coach and the NCAA enforcement staff agreed that from July through August 2018, the head coach provided approximately $461.00 of impermissible recruiting inducements in the form of cost-free housing, meals, transportation, use of a private tennis club and t-shirts to the prospect. Specifically:
a. On July 6 and 7, 2018, while the prospect was in the institution’s locale for a tennis club event, the head coach provided her with cost-free local transportation, and one night of housing at his residence and a restaurant meal. NCAA Bylaws 13.2.1 and 13.2.3-(h) (2017-18).
b. Between August 16 and 30, 2018, while the prospect was in the institution’s locale attempting to rectify visa problems and gain fall of 2018 admission, the head coach permitted her to live cost-free at his residence and receive home cooked meals.
Additionally, the head coach provided the prospect cost-free local transportation and allowed her to use a private tennis club on four occasions at no charge. Further, the head coach provided her two (2) institutional t-shirts. NCAA Bylaws 13.2.1, 13.2.3-(b), 13.2.3-(g) and 13.2.3-(h) (2018-19).
Violations of NCAA Division II Manual Bylaws 10.1-(b) and 188.8.131.52 (2017-18 and 2018-19)
CBU, the head coach and the NCAA enforcement staff agreed that between July and August 2018, the head coach violated the NCAA principles of ethical conduct and head coach responsibility legislation, as he is presumed responsible for violations outlined above and did not rebut that presumption. Specifically, the head coach did not demonstrate that he promoted an atmosphere for compliance within the women’s tennis program due to his personal involvement in knowingly providing the prospect improper inducements and failure to engage the institution’s compliance staff to determine whether his actions were permissible.
Violations of NCAA Division II Manual Bylaw 2.8.1 (2018-19)
The institution and enforcement staff agreed that in August 2018, the scope and nature of the violations detailed above demonstrate that the institution violated the NCAA principle of rules compliance when it failed to adequately monitor an international prospective student-athlete’s presence and activities while in the institution’s locale. Specifically, the athletics administrators were aware the international prospective student-athlete was from [a foreign country] and on campus with the head women’s tennis coach attempting to rectify visa problems and gain admission to the institution. Even though these circumstances should have alerted the athletics administrators to a higher awareness of all activities surrounding the international prospective student-athlete, the athletics administrators failed to ask questions or take necessary steps to provide adequate oversight and monitoring to ensure rules compliance.
As a result of the foregoing, the Committee penalized CBU as follows: