The NCAA Committee on Infractions (“Committee”) recently issued its findings and found that Coastal Carolina University (“CCU”) committed violations of NCAA legislation. The Committee, through a six-member panel, reviewed this case through the cooperative summary disposition process in which all parties agreed to the primary facts, violations and violation levels, as fully set forth in the summary disposition report (SDR). Further, CCU agreed to the additional penalties proposed by the Committee; therefore, there is no opportunity to appeal for CCU. The former head men’s golf coach did not agree to an additional proposed penalty and challenged it at an expedited hearing. He therefore retains the opportunity to appeal that penalty.
The agreed-upon violations centered on the former head men’s golf coach’s recruitment of and provision of impermissible benefits to one prospective student-athlete from August 2010 to August 2011. Specifically, the former head men’s golf coach provided individual golf lessons and arranged and paid for others. The lessons he provided also violated tryout legislation and exceeded the number of permissible contacts. The parties agreed that a Level II violation occurred. Because of these violations, the former head men’s golf coach also agreed that he failed to deport himself with the generally recognized high standards of honesty and sportsmanship associated with the conduct and administration of intercollegiate athletics. This conduct violated NCAA Bylaw 10. The parties agreed that a Level II violation occurred.
The Committee determined that the case should move forward under a Level II standard and found the following violations of NCAA legislation:
Violations of NCAA Division I Manual Bylaws 18.104.22.168, 13.2.1, 22.214.171.124-(g), and 13.11.1 (2010-11 Manual).
CCU, NCAA enforcement staff and the head coach agreed that the head coach engaged in impermissible recruiting activity with the prospect during the prospect’s senior year in high school. The benefits were valued at $1,278.50.
From at least the 2007-08 through 2010-11 academic years, CCU failed in its obligation to properly certify eligibility of its student-athletes when the director of athletics and head coaches did not review or sign the squad list forms and did not keep the squad list forms on file.
From August to December 2010, the head coach provided at least five private golf lessons to the prospect at no cost. The golf lessons occurred at the Tournament Players Club (TPC), the institution’s home golf course in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. The golf lessons were valued at $50 each, resulting in an impermissible benefit with a total value of $250. In addition, the golf lessons provided by the head coach would be considered a physical activity where the prospect demonstrated his athletics ability and would thus be considered impermissible tryout activities. NCAA Bylaws 13.2.1, 126.96.36.199-(g) and 13.11.1 (2010-11).
From August to December 2010, the head coach exceeded the number of permissible recruiting contacts when he provided five private golf lessons to the prospect at TPC. NCAA Bylaw 188.8.131.52 (2010-11).
In December 2010, the head coach arranged for a private golf instructor (“private golf instructor”) at a private golf course in Myrtle Beach to provide 10 private lessons to the prospect from January to August 2011. In February 2011, the head coach paid $1,000 to the private golf instructor. As a result, the private golf instructor provided the lessons at no cost to the prospect. NCAA Bylaws 13.2.1 and 184.108.40.206-(g) (2010-11).
Between August and December 2010, the head coach allowed the prospect to use the golf performance center at TPC to engage in strength and conditioning exercises on at least two occasions at no cost. The use of the golf performance center was valued at $14.25 per occasion, resulting in an impermissible benefit with a total value of $28.50. NCAA Bylaws 13.2.1 and 220.127.116.11-(g) (2010-11).
Violations of NCAA Division I Manual Bylaws 10.01.1, 10.1, and 10.1-(c) (2010-11 and 2011-12 Manual)
CCU, NCAA enforcement staff and the head coach, agreed that the head coach failed to deport himself in accordance with the generally recognized high standards of honesty and sportsmanship associated with the conduct and administration of intercollegiate athletics for his involvement in NCAA violations as detailed above.
Aggravating and Mitigating Factors
Level II violations, representing an institution’s significant breach of conduct, includes one or more violations that provide or are intended to provide more than a minimal but less than a substantial or extensive recruiting, competitive or other advantage or impermissible benefit. Level II violations are more serious than Level III and yet do not rise to the level of Level I. They include systematic violations that do not amount to a lack of institutional control or collective Level III violations.
CCU Aggravating Factors were as follows: a history of Level I, Level II, or major violations (NCAA Bylaw 19.9.3-(b)).
Head Men’s Golf Coach Aggravating Factors were as follows: persons of authority condoned, participated in or negligently disregarded the violation or related wrongful conduct (NCAA Bylaw 19.9.3-(h)); one or more violations caused significant ineligibility or other substantial harm or a student-athlete or prospective student-athlete (NCAA Bylaw 19.9.3-(i)); and intentional, willful or blatant disregard for the NCAA constitution and bylaws (NCAA Bylaw 19.9.3-(m)).
CCU Mitigating Factors were as follows: prompt acknowledgement of the violation, acceptance of responsibility and imposition of meaningful corrective measures and/or penalties (NCAA Bylaw 19.9.4-(b)); an established history of self-reporting Level III or secondary violations (NCAA Bylaw 19.9.4-(d)); and implementation of a system of compliance methods designed to ensure rules compliance and satisfaction or institutional/coaches’ control standards (NCAA Bylaw 19.9.4-(e)).
Head Men’s Golf Coach Mitigating Factors were as follows: prompt acknowledgement of the violation, acceptance of responsibility and imposition of meaningful corrective measures and/or penalties (NCAA Bylaw 19.9.4-(b)).
As a result of the aforementioned violations, the Committee penalized CCU as follows:
1. Public reprimand and censure.
2. One year of probation from September 1, 2015 through August 31, 2016.
3. The former head men’s golf coach received a one-year show cause penalty.
4. The men’s golf coaching staff members were prohibited from on-and off-campus recruiting for a six week period during the fall of 2013 (from September 8 through October 20 and October 20 through 26).
5. The men’s golf team was required to reduce the total number of practice days by six, from 144 to 138 for the 2013-14 academic year.
6. CCU shall vacate the individual and team records from events in which the prospect participated during the 2011-12 and 2012-13 academic years. The individual records of the ineligible student-athlete will also be vacated.
7. CCU shall pay a $5,000 fine to the NCAA.