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 centered on the men’s basketball program at King University (“King” or “KU” or “institution”) and involved violations in the institutional work-study program, impermissible inducements and benefits and academic misconduct. The work-study violations occurred when men’s basketball student-athletes were paid for work they did not perform, while the other violations involved the program’s associate head coach (“associate head coach”) providing impermissible inducements to two prospects and engaging in academic misconduct on behalf of an enrolled student-athlete. Finally, the violations established that both King and the head men’s basketball coach (“head coach”) failed to monitor aspects of the men’s basketball program.
The Committee concluded that KU committed the following violations:
Violations of NCAA Division II Manual Bylaws 15.2.6-(a) and 22.214.171.124 (2013-14 and 2014-15); 12.4.1-(a), 14.11.1, 15.01.2 and 126.96.36.199 (2013-14 through 2016-17); 15.2.3-(a) (2015-16 and 2016-17); 16.8.1 (2015-16 through 2017-18); and 14.12.1 (2017-18)]
Over four academic years, the institution permitted 28 men’s basketball work-study student-athletes to receive compensation for work not performed related to work study positions within the athletics department. This resulted in some of the student-athletes practicing, competing and receiving actual and necessary expenses while ineligible. The institution agreed to the facts and that major violations occurred, but disagreed with the applicability of one bylaw. COI concluded that major violations occurred.
From the 2013-14 academic year through 2016-17, King permitted 28 men’s basketball student-athletes to receive compensation for work not performed through athletic department work-study positions. The student-athletes logged approximately 3,164 hours of work not performed, resulting in total impermissible benefits of approximately $22,831. Twenty-two of the student-athletes subsequently practiced, competed in 158 contests and received actual and necessary benefits related to those contests while ineligible. When King compensated student-athletes for work not performed, it violated Bylaws 12, 15 and 16. When it subsequently allowed 22 student-athletes to participate and receive expenses while ineligible, it violated Bylaws 14, 15 and 16.
Bylaws 12 and 15 both address student-athlete compensation and state that employed student-athletes can only be paid for work they actually perform. Bylaw 15 also notes that any student-athlete who receives financial aid in violation of the bylaws is rendered ineligible for competition. Once a student-athlete is rendered ineligible, Bylaw 14 requires member institutions to withhold him or her from competition. Bylaw 16 governs benefits. It prohibits student-athletes from receiving any extra benefits, which are defined as any special arrangement by an institutional employee to provide student-athletes with benefits not expressly authorized by NCAA legislation. Bylaw 16 also states that institutions may provide necessary travel expenses to participating student-athletes, but only if they are eligible for intercollegiate competition under all Association rules. Bylaw 16 also generally prohibits the provision of extra benefits that are not expressly allowed by NCAA legislation. In particular, Bylaw 188.8.131.52 defines “extra benefits” in part as any special arrangement by an institutional employee to provide a student-athlete with a benefit not expressly authorized by NCAA legislation.
When King permitted 28 men’s basketball student-athletes to receive compensation for work not performed as members of the Gym Crew, it violated Bylaws 12 and 15. Pursuant to Bylaw 15, the impermissible wages were categorized as impermissible financial aid and their receipt rendered the student-athletes ineligible for competition. They were also ineligible because Bylaw 16 does not include payment for work not performed among the benefits institutions can provide. Subsequently, King allowed 22 of the 28 student-athletes to practice, compete and receive competition-related expenses in violation of Bylaws 14 and 16.
King agreed that it violated Bylaws 12, 14, 15 and all cited Bylaw 16 provisions except Bylaw 184.108.40.206. King argued that this bylaw did not apply because there was no “special arrangement” by any institutional employee to provide the impermissible wages. COI concluded that major violations occurred and this provision applies.
In its only three cases dealing with this issue, the COI concluded that payment for work not performed was an impermissible benefit that violated NCAA legislation, including Bylaw 220.127.116.11. Two of the cases were summary dispositions, but the third was a contested case with similar facts that is particularly instructive. See Barry University (2019) (concluding in a summary disposition case that major violations occurred when the institution allowed 13 student-athletes to log excessive work-study hours and receive approximately $30,000 for work not performed over three years); Salem International University (2008) (concluding that the institution committed major violations when it allowed six student-athletes to be paid federal work-study money for work not performed over two months); and Slippery Rock University (1997) (concluding in a summary disposition case that student-athletes were paid for work not performed when a coach personally falsified student-athlete work-study timesheets and submitted them for payment). In Barry, the parties agreed to the bylaw citation. Because the case was a summary disposition and therefore could be viewed by the COI as less instructive than the decision in a contested case, the COI did not explore what facts established the agreed-upon special arrangement. In Slippery Rock, also a summary disposition, the bylaw was also cited and the arrangement was obvious. A third case, Salem International, a contested case with facts similar to this matter, offers some specific guidance.
Salem International involved six soccer student-athletes paid for work not performed. Their head coach directly supervised them. As in the present matter, the head coach also approved the hours the student-athletes claimed to work. While the decision does not delve into any specific arrangement for the payments, the COI concluded that a Bylaw 18.104.22.168 violation occurred. The present matter is similar. At the hearing, King noted that there is no information establishing any explicit or implicit agreement among the associate head coach and the student-athletes to “pad” the hours the student-athletes claimed to work. However, the nature of the relationship between the associate head coach and the workers who claimed unearned hours, all of whom were members of the team he coached, eventually resulted in there being an arrangement in which men’s basketball student-athletes were hired and placed into the positions where they were comfortable submitting inaccurate hours. The associate head coach did not ensure that the submitted hours were accurate, resulting in the workers being paid for work not performed.
In Salem International, not all the work-study students were members of the soccer squads. Yet the soccer student-athletes were the only workers who were paid for work not performed. Similarly, although there were two other student-athletes in the King Gym Crew during the relevant timeframe, only men’s basketball student-athletes were paid for work not performed. Out of 8-10 workers the associate head coach hired and supervised every year from 2012 to 2016, only two were not members of the team he coached. Neither of them were paid for work not performed. In Salem International, the work-study special arrangement only lasted two months. In this matter, the men’s basketball Gym Crew members claimed over 3,000 hours they did not work over a period of years, resulting in them being paid more than $22,000 they did not earn. The situation became a special arrangement for men’s basketball student-athletes. Therefore, COI concluded the payment for work not performed is an impermissible benefit in violation of Bylaw 22.214.171.124. The violation is major.
Violations of NCAA Division II Manual Bylaws 10.01.1, 10.1, 10.1-(c) and 13.2.1 (2014-15 through 2016-17); 10.1-(b), 13.2.2-(h), 13.2.2-(l) and 126.96.36.199 (2015-16); and 14.11.1 and 16.8.1 (2015-16 and 2016-17)
The associate head coach violated the NCAA principles of ethical conduct when he knowingly provided impermissible inducements to two prospective student-athletes and when he knowingly engaged in academic misconduct with an enrolled student-athlete. King and the NCAA enforcement staff substantially agreed on the facts and that violations occurred. The associate head coach agreed with many facts and that he violated NCAA legislation in some instances; however, he submitted that any violations were secondary. He denied that he violated ethical conduct legislation, although he acknowledged at the hearing that he may have violated Bylaw 10.01.1, the general principle of honesty and sportsmanship. COI concluded that major violations occurred.
In April 2015 and August 2016, the associate head coach provided recruiting inducements to prospects 1 and 2 when he made substantive edits to their required admissions essays. He provided further recruiting inducements to prospect 1 in August 2015 when he provided prospect 1 with cost-free lodging, meals and arranged for cost-free tutoring after the assistant coach transported prospect 1 to his home. In December 2015, he engaged in academic misconduct by making substantive edits to the student-athlete’s take-home exam. The associate head coach’s conduct violated Bylaws 10 and 13. His conduct also resulted in King violating Bylaws 14 and 16 with respect to the student-athlete. The assistant coach’s provision of transportation was part of the Bylaw 13 violations.
Bylaw 10 governs ethical conduct by current and former institutional staff members. Bylaws 10.01.1 and 10.1 generally require institutional staff members to conduct themselves in an honest and ethical manner that reflects sportsmanship and fair play. Subsection (c) of Bylaw 10.1 prohibits knowing involvement in offering or providing improper inducements, benefits or financial aid to prospects or enrolled student-athletes. Subsection (b) prohibits knowing involvement in arranging for fraudulent academic credit. An April 2014 NCAA Academic and Membership Affairs (“AMA”) official interpretation of Bylaw 10.1-(b) confirmed that institutions have the authority to determine whether its academic policies were violated, consistent with their own policies applicable to all students. If an institution makes such a determination, it must report the policy violations to the NCAA under certain circumstances, including when an institutional staff member is involved in arranging for fraudulent academic credit. Bylaw 13.2.1 restricts institutional staff members from providing inducements or financial aid to prospects unless expressly authorized by NCAA legislation, while Bylaws 13.2.2-(h) and (l) specifically prohibit the provision of free/reduced-cost housing and educational services, including tutoring. As set forth in the discussion above, Bylaw 14 obligates member institutions to withhold ineligible student-athletes from competition, while Bylaw 16 allows institutions to provide competition expenses to eligible student-athletes and prohibits institutional staff members from providing student-athletes with any benefit not expressly authorized by NCAA legislation.
In both April 2015 and August 2016, the associate head coach provided impermissible inducements to prospects when he assisted with the admissions essays they needed as part of the admissions process. Regarding prospect 1, the associate head coach recommended the addition or removal of numerous words, phrases and/or sentences and the re-structuring of paragraphs, among other things. Prospect 1 made the changes. Later, the associate head coach made similar, extensive changes to sentences, grammatical structure and full paragraphs of prospect 2’s essay. Further, after the assistant coach transported prospect 1 to the associate head coach’s home, the associate head coach provided prospect 1 with cost-free lodging and meals and arranged for his wife to tutor prospect 1 in a Math course he needed to pass for initial eligibility. None of these inducements and benefits are authorized by NCAA legislation and, in fact, Bylaw 13.2 expressly prohibits institutional staff members from providing cost-free housing and tutoring services. When the associate head coach knowingly edited the prospects’ essays and provided prospect 1 with cost-free housing, meals and tutoring, he provided the prospects with improper and impermissible inducements. His actions violated Bylaws 10.1-(c) and 13. The assistant coach also violated Bylaw 13 by transporting prospect 1.
The violations were major, even though the associate head coach’s position was that any violations he committed were secondary. Pursuant to Bylaw 19.02.2.1, a violation is secondary if it: (1) is isolated or inadvertent; (2) provides or is intended to provide only a minimal recruiting, competitive or other advantage; and (3) does not include any significant impermissible benefit (including recruiting inducements). If any of the three prongs are not met, the violation is major. Multiple secondary violations may be collectively considered to be a major violation.
Individually and in the aggregate, the associate coach’s violations were major. Neither prospect 1 nor 2 met institutional admissions standards, meaning that their required written essays were crucial to their admissions process. King looked at both the content and writing style and ultimately used the essays to gauge the readiness of the applicants to successfully complete college-level work. King only admitted approximately 65-75 percent of applicants who wrote essays. When the associate head coach made the many substantive edits and changes to the two essays, he affected King’s ability to accurately gauge whether it should admit the two prospects. His reason for assisting with the essays was to try to increase the chances of them being accepted for admission. His actions were significant recruiting inducements and were designed to convey more than a minimal advantage upon the men’s basketball program (by enhancing the prospects’ chances for enrollment). Further, because the associate head coach knowingly assisted with an essay on more than one occasion, and knowingly provided other inducements to prospect 1 four months after assisting with his essay, his actions were not isolated or inadvertent. Therefore, the violations did not meet the first and second prongs of Bylaw 19.02.2.1 and are major.
The associate head coach’s provision of housing, meals and tutoring to prospect 1 is also major. The coaching staff arranged for prospect 1 to come to the associate head coach’s home for one reason – to increase his chances of passing a Math course he needed to gain initial eligibility for athletics competition. If prospect 1, a scholarship student-athlete, attained initial eligibility, the strength of King’s men’s basketball team would be immediately enhanced. The associate head coach provided these inducements to prospect 1 in an attempt to gain more than a minimal recruiting and/or competitive advantage. Therefore, the violation does not meet the second prong of Bylaw 19.02.2.1 and is major.
The associate head coach’s academic misconduct violation occurred in December 2015, when he edited the student-athlete’s take-home exam. The document was clearly marked as an exam, yet the associate head coach essentially re-wrote the first page and inserted numerous other changes. He incorrectly reasoned that since the student-athlete was allowed to take the exam home, somebody could help him with it. King determined that when the student-athlete submitted the exam, he cheated in violation of the institutional honor code. Therefore, King reported the action to the NCAA as academic misconduct. When he modified the student-athlete’s take-home exam in violation of the institutional honor code, the associate head coach arranged for fraudulent academic credit in violation of Bylaw 10.1-(b). The student-athlete was rendered ineligible and later competed and received competition-related expenses in violation of Bylaws 14 and 16.
COI has concluded on numerous occasions that institutional staff members violate NCAA legislation when they provide inducements and benefits that are not allowed under the bylaws, including the types of inducements and benefits provided in this case. See West Texas A&M University (2016) (concluding major violations when a coaching staff arranged for six prospects to receive cost-free housing); Henderson State University (2014) (concluding that coaches engaged in major violations when, among other things, they provided impermissible transportation to prospects); Abilene Christian University (2009) (concluding that coaches committed major violations when they helped prospects enroll in a correspondence course, sent payment information regarding the course to one of the prospects’ fathers, allowed the prospects to use their office computers to complete coursework and paid the postage to mail the prospects’ completed coursework to another institution); and University of Central Oklahoma (2008) (concluding that the football coaching staff committed major violations when it arranged and/or provided prospects with cost-free housing, food and/or transportation). When the associate head coach knowingly provided the inducements to prospects 1 and 2, he violated NCAA recruiting and ethical conduct legislation. The assistant coach’s provision of transportation also violated Bylaw 13.
As with the inducement violations, the COI has consistently concluded that individuals who render impermissible academic assistance violate NCAA ethical conduct legislation. See West Texas A&M (concluding a violation of Bylaw 10.1-(b) when a student-athlete and members of his family completed academic coursework for a second student-athlete) and University of Southern Indiana (2011) (concluding a violation of Bylaw 10.1-(b) when an assistant coach arranged for a booster to complete academic work for a student-athlete). The associate head coach’s contributions to the student-athlete’s take-home exam were impermissible and violated Bylaw 10.1-(b).
The student-athlete was rendered ineligible by the academic misconduct. Therefore, when the institution subsequently permitted him to compete and receive competition-related expenses, it did so in violation of Bylaws 14 and 16. See Eastern New Mexico University (2015); University of California, San Diego (2013); and Chadron State College (2013) (all concluding that when the institutions allowed ineligible student-athletes to compete and receive expenses related to competition, they violated these provisions). Institutions may not allow ineligible student-athletes to compete and receive expenses related to competition.
The associate head coach submitted that his conduct did not violate ethical conduct legislation because he did not engage in Bylaw 10 violations “knowingly.” COI has concluded that institutional staff members violate NCAA ethical principles when they know or should know that they are violating NCAA legislation. At the hearing, the associate head coach agreed that this is the proper standard for determining Bylaw 10.1 violations. See California State Polytechnic University, Pomona (2011) (applying this standard when an assistant coach claimed ignorance that inducements she provided to individuals accompanying a prospect on a campus visit were impermissible because the offending assistant coach had attended education sessions and taken the coaching certification exam). Similarly, the associate head coach passed multiple coaches exams – which include sections on inducements and benefits – attended campus educational sessions and an NCAA Regional Rules Seminar. At the time he worked on the take-home exam, he was more than five years into his tenure as a coach at a member institution. The compliance officer’s desk was mere feet from his. Simply put, if the associate head coach truly did not know it is improper to assist in writing admissions essays, work on a student-athlete’s exam and provide a prospect with cost-free housing, meals and tutoring, he should have. His actions violated Bylaws 10.01.1, 10.1, 10.1-(b) and 10.1-(c). See Christian Brothers University (2019) (concluding that a head coach violated ethical conduct standards when he knowingly provided a prospect impermissible inducements including cost-free meals, housing and transportation, and did not consult the compliance office).
The academic misconduct violation is also major, either standing alone or in conjunction with the essay/housing/meals violations. As COI stated in California State Polytechnic University, Pomona (1981), there can no more serious violation of NCAA legislation than academic misconduct. This is reflected in the penalties the COI has prescribed for academic violations. See, e.g., Texas A&M International University (2011) (adopting and prescribing the significant penalty of permanent ineligibility for student-athletes who engaged in a scheme of academic misconduct); and Benedict College (2008) (issuing a rare show-cause order for a student-athlete because he engaged in academic fraud). The associate head coach’s academic misconduct on behalf of the student-athlete was a direct affront to the principles of amateurism, sportsmanship and sound academic standards, which, as set forth in Article 2 of the NCAA Constitution, are all hallmarks for conducting intercollegiate athletics. The academic assistance he provided was a significant impermissible benefit. Therefore, per the third prong of Bylaw 19.02.2.1, it cannot be a secondary violation.
Violations of NCAA Division II Manual Bylaws 1.2.1 (2014-15 through 2016-17)
In 2015 and 2016, the head coach failed in his responsibility to promote an atmosphere for compliance within the men’s basketball program and monitor members of his staff who reported to him. King and the enforcement staff substantially agreed on the facts and that the violation occurred. The head coach disputed the allegation and submitted that any violation he committed was secondary. COI concluded that major violations occurred.
In April and August 2015, and in August 2016, the head coach failed to meet his responsibilities as a head coach. He failed to promote an atmosphere for compliance when he helped arrange for impermissible inducements for prospect 1 and did not inquire about the permissibility of the arrangement. When he did not ensure that prospect 1’s stay at the associate head coach’s home complied with NCAA recruiting legislation as it was occurring, he failed to monitor his staff. He also failed to monitor his staff’s involvement with admission essays.
Bylaw 188.8.131.52 establishes two affirmative duties for head coaches: (1) to promote an atmosphere for rules compliance; and (2) to monitor those individuals in their program who report to them. With respect to the latter, the bylaw presumes that head coaches are responsible for the actions of those who report to them. Head coaches may rebut this presumption by demonstrating that they promoted an atmosphere of compliance and monitored their staffs.
The head coach failed to rebut his presumption of responsibility. With respect to promoting the appropriate atmosphere, he was aware of prospect 1’s academic deficiencies and was part of the conversation in which the staff decided to bring prospect 1 three hours from his home to the associate head coach’s home for tutoring. The “chain of command” regarding compliance questions in the men’s basketball program involved staff members coming to the head coach for guidance. Only if the head coach had rules-related questions would he then check with the compliance office. The head coach did not inquire whether the arrangements he and his staff made for prospect 1 were allowable. At the hearing, he stated a belief that the arrangement was permissible because prospect 1 had already signed a letter of intent, even though he also stated an uncertainty regarding when or if prospects can ever stay in a coach’s home. His failure to initially determine the permissibility of the arrangement was a failure to promote rules compliance in his program.
COI has concluded that the failure of a head coach to check on the permissibility of an action violated the Bylaw 184.108.40.206 duty to promote an atmosphere for compliance. See Christian Brothers (concluding that a head coach failed to promote an atmosphere for compliance when he did not ask the compliance staff whether his actions, which turned out to be violations, were permissible); Seattle Pacific University (2017) (concluding that when a head coach processed institutional funds through a personal account and provided camp discounts, all without reviewing applicable legislation or consulting the compliance office, he displayed a lax attitude that demonstrated a failure to promote compliance); and East Central University (2015) (concluding that a head coach violated his duty to promote an atmosphere for compliance when, among other things, he failed to engage the compliance staff regarding the permissibility of his actions, or the actions of others). When he did not consult the compliance office regarding the arrangement with prospect 1, the head coach violated his Bylaw 220.127.116.11 duty to promote an atmosphere for rules compliance.
The head coach also failed to monitor his staff in two ways: (1) by not ensuring that his coaching staff adhered to NCAA legislation during prospect 1’s stay at the associate head coach’s home; and (2) by not monitoring his staff’s involvement with prospects’ admissions essays. Regarding prospect 1’s visit, once he was in the vicinity and staying at the associate head coach’s home, the head coach did not ask questions or otherwise take steps to determine whether the situation was conducted consistent with NCAA rules. He did not meet his monitoring duty when he did not ensure that it was allowable for his staff to house, feed and tutor prospect 1 as the situation was ongoing. Regarding the essay assistance, the head coach stated in his interviews that his staff was not involved with the essays and that he did not speak to them specifically about staying out of essay situations because it was just understood they were not to be involved. He expressed surprise when he later learned that the associate head coach assisted prospects in writing their essays. The head coach’s assertion that coaches should understand that they cannot help draft admissions essays is well taken. But ultimately, the head coach was responsible for his staff being specifically aware that they were to avoid the essay process. Because he never discussed the topic with them and did not ensure that his assistants were not involved in writing the essays, he did not meet his Bylaw 11 duty to monitor his staff.
COI has recognized an ongoing duty among those in charge of programs to monitor and has concluded violations occurred when they in some way do not meet that duty. See Clark Atlanta University (2014) (concluding that a head coach breached his duty to monitor his assistant coaches when he did not track their actions, including their provision of impermissible benefits to student-athletes); Chadron State College (concluding that the director of athletics failed to monitor the athletics program when he did not determine where funds from a golf tournament were being deposited, establish a rules education program, track funds expended by the football program or ensure that coaches adhered to all Bylaw 17 legislation); Southern Indiana (stating that head coaches must follow up on all situations to ensure that problems are resolved in a manner consistent with NCAA rules); and Incarnate Word (2009) (concluding that when a head coach failed to inquire how a prospect was able to pay an outstanding debt, the head coach failed to monitor an assistant coach who had provided an impermissible loan to the prospect).9 The COI has consistently held that those in charge of programs have an ongoing duty to monitor so as to ensure that their programs are in compliance with NCAA legislation. When the head coach did not ensure that the ongoing situation involving prospect 1 was allowable, and because he never discussed the propriety of assisting with admissions essays, he failed to monitor his coaching staff in violation of Bylaw 11.
The violations are major. As stated in the analysis above, the staff’s reason for transporting prospect 1 to the associate head coach’s home, then feeding, housing and tutoring him was to enhance his chances of immediate eligibility. These actions constituted an attempt to gain more than a minimal competitive advantage and were major. The head coach’s failures to promote rules compliance and monitor allowed the violations to occur. They were part of the recruiting advantage and potential competitive advantage and are therefore major.
As part of the head coach’s head coach responsibility allegation, the enforcement staff alleged that he also failed to monitor his coaching staff by failing to clearly communicate his expectations for their involvement with providing academic assistance to men’s basketball student-athletes. COI did not conclude that this portion of the violation occurred, based on the record.
The King athletic administration communicated to coaches that they were not to interfere with academics. Coaches were allowed to contact academic faculty regarding class attendance and missed assignments by their student-athletes, but nothing more. The head coach stated that he had conversations with his assistants about what they could and could not do academically for student- athletes. No information in the record suggests that he did not adequately inform his staff of this policy.
Further, the head coach could not have reasonably been expected to discover the associate head coach’s academic misconduct with student-athlete 1 as it was occurring. Student-athlete 1 emailed his exam to the associate head coach’s personal computer. Within three hours, the associate head coach had made his changes and edits and sent it back to student-athlete 1, also through email. Even though the men’s basketball coaches’ desks were all in close proximity to one another, the head coach could not be expected to know everything the associate head coach was doing on his computer. Further, the record does not reflect whether the head coach was at his desk that day or in a position to observe what the associate head coach was doing. Once the associate head coach emailed the exam back to him, student-athlete 1 submitted it. Because the head coach relayed the expectations about involvement with academics to his staff, and because he could not have been reasonably expected to discover the academic misconduct, COI concluded that this portion of the allegation was not demonstrated.
Violations of NCAA Division II Manual Constitution 2.8.1 (2013-14 through 2016-17)
Over four years, King failed to monitor the operation of the men’s basketball work-study positions. King disputed the facts and disagreed that the violation occurred. COI concluded that a major violation occurred.
From the 2013-14 academic year through 2016-17, the institution failed to monitor the operation of the men’s basketball work-study positions to ensure full compliance with NCAA legislation. King did not provide adequate education for the associate head coach or have in place sufficient checks and balances to monitor the associate head coach’s supervision of student-athletes in his own sport. As a result, the violations detailed above occurred. In failing to adequately monitor the men’s basketball work-study positions, King violated Constitution 2.8.1.
Article 2 of the NCAA Constitution sets forth core principles for institutions conducting intercollegiate athletics programs. Constitution 2.8.1 requires an institution to abide by all rules and regulations, monitor compliance and report instances of noncompliance.
The institution’s education for work-study supervisors, particularly the associate head coach, was insufficient. Although it gave him a copy of the King College Student-Athlete Employment Policies and Procedures, the institution did not provide education for the associate head coach upon hiring him and assigning him to supervise the Gym Crew in 2008. King supplemented that document with a Federal Work-Study Program Supervisor’s Guide for the 2013-14 academic year, but there was essentially no monitoring of the program until King hired the counselor at the beginning of the 2014-15 academic year. The counselor described the program as loosely run when she began overseeing it. In November 2015, she reminded the associate head coach about federal law regarding hours work-study students can work, but just two months later she had to alert him that Gym Crew members were logging more than their allotted hours. No one at that time determined whether members of the Gym Crew were working the hours they claimed. By mid-March 2015, it was necessary for the counselor to contact the associate head coach again regarding hours crew members claimed to have worked over spring break. Even after the institution confirmed that the Gym Crew had claimed hours not worked and the associate head coach had to delete those hours, no one undertook an audit or review of the Gym Crew. Something in the work-study program was not properly functioning. The associate head coach needed comprehensive guidance on how to perform his duties, yet King did not provide it.
The counselor’s concerns continued into the following academic year. In August 2016, she met with the director of athletics and compliance officer and recommended that coaches not oversee work-study student-athletes who participate in the sports they coach. The administration subsequently assigned the assistant athletic director to act as a “liaison” with the Gym Crew, but her role ended up being nothing more than approving the hours the associate head coach presented to her. It was not until February 2017, nine years after the associate head coach began supervising the Gym Crew and only two months before he left King, that the institution undertook a full accounting of Gym Crew hours because one member claimed the crew had been inaccurately reporting their hours for years. The COI acknowledges the efforts of the counselor and the eventual actions of King in investigating the work-study issues. However, King had indications for years that the Gym Crew was not operating properly, particularly after the counselor arrived on campus. Until February 2017, King’s monitoring of the Gym Crew work-study positions was deficient.
When an institution’s policies and procedures for overseeing aspects of its athletics program are somehow deficient or not being followed, or if an institution should have followed up on a known situation, the COI has concluded that the institution failed to monitor as required by NCAA legislation. In Lane College (2019), the COI concluded that the institution failed to monitor the women’s cross country program because it did not provide adequate rules education to staff and student-athletes and did not have adequate monitoring practices for its travel and competition documents. Further, institutional personnel ignored “red flags” that hinted at potential rules violations. As a result, a head coach was able to circumvent eligibility rules and allow an ineligible student-athlete to compete in five meets under a false name. The COI stated that the deficient education and monitoring systems demonstrated a violation of Constitution 2.8.1. See also Fayetteville State University (2017) (concluding that the institution failed to monitor over a two-year period when it did not provide adequate rules education and did not track the activities of two ineligible student-athletes) and University of California, San Diego (concluding a failure to monitor when the institution did not have a system to confirm that only eligible student-athletes competed and did not review evaluation forms regarding student-athlete experiences).
Specific to work-study situations, COI concluded in Barry that the institution failed to monitor the work-study program when the assistant coach who held direct supervisory responsibility did not adequately track the number of hours worked, the head coach did not monitor the assistant coach’s oversight of the workers, the monitoring system in the athletics department was deficient and the institution did not ensure that all supervisors and workers attended work-related training sessions. The present matter is similar. For four years, King failed to adequately monitor men’s basketball program’s work-study positions. The violation is major. Twenty-two student-athletes eventually competed while ineligible because of the violation, giving King more than a minimal competitive advantage.
Secondary Violations of NCAA Division II Bylaw 13.2.1 (2014-15)
On or about April 27, 2015, the associate head coach provided a third men’s basketball prospect with an impermissible inducement when he allowed the prospect to use the associate head coach’s personal computer to complete his admissions essay.
As a result of the foregoing, the Committee penalized KU as follows: