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. This case involved impermissible benefit violations in the men’s basketball program at Clark Atlanta University (“Clark Atlanta” or “institution”), as well as a head coach responsibility violation by the former head men’s basketball coach (“head coach”). COI considered this case through the cooperative summary disposition process in which Clark Atlanta, the head coach and the NCAA enforcement staff agreed to the primary facts and violations as fully set forth in the summary disposition report (“SDR”). COI proposed additional penalties for Clark Atlanta and the head coach. Clark Atlanta and the head coach accepted the penalties. Therefore, neither party was permitted to appeal.
The Committee concluded that Clark Atlanta committed the following violations:
Violations of NCAA Division II Manual Bylaws 14.12.1, 16.8.1 and 220.127.116.11 (2019-20)
The institution, head coach, and NCAA enforcement staff agreed that during the 2019-20 academic year, the head coach provided impermissible benefits in the form of one check each to the fathers of student-athlete 1 and student-athlete 2. In both instances, the head coach drew the checks on an account of an off-campus charitable foundation of which the head coach is a founder and director. The combined value of the impermissible benefits was $1,066.00. As a result of the impermissible benefits, student-athlete 1 and student-athlete 2 competed in a total of 24 contests and received actual and necessary expenses while ineligible.
On October 28, 2019, the head coach provided student-athlete 1’s father a check in the amount of $591.00 as reimbursement for student-athlete 1’s 2019 fall semester textbooks. Due to the improper benefit, student-athlete 1 subsequently competed and received actual and necessary expenses while ineligible in 18 contests. NCAA Bylaws 14.12.1, 16.8.1 and 18.104.22.168 (2019-20).
On February 9, 2020, the head coach provided student-athlete 2’s father a check in the amount of $475.00 as reimbursement for student-athlete 2’s 2019-20 enrollment fees. Due to the improper benefit, student-athlete 2 subsequently competed and received actual and necessary expenses while ineligible in 6 contests. NCAA Bylaws 14.12.1, 16.8.1 and 22.214.171.124 (2019-20).
Violations of NCAA Division II Manual Bylaw 126.96.36.199 (2019-20)
The institution, the head coach, and NCAA enforcement staff agreed that the head coach failed to rebut the presumption of responsibility for the violations outlined above and did not rebut the presumption of responsibility. Specifically, the head coach did not demonstrate that he promoted an atmosphere for compliance due to his personal involvement in the violations.
As a result of the foregoing, the Committee penalized Clark Atlanta as follows: