The NCAA Division II Committee on Infractions (“COI”) 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 deceitful actions of the former head cross country and track and field coach at Lane College (“LC”) and LC’s failure to monitor. The COI considered this case through the cooperative summary disposition process, in which all parties agreed to the primary facts and violation as fully set forth in the summary disposition report (“SDR”). Because LC agreed to the violation and proposed penalties and the head coach failed to respond to the proposed penalty, neither party has an opportunity to appeal.
The COI found that LC committed the following violations of NCAA legislation:
Violations of NCAA Division II Manual Bylaw 14.01.1, 14.3.1, 22.214.171.124.1, 14.3.4, 14.10.1, 14.10.2, 14.11.1 and 16.8.1. (2016-17)
LC and the NCAA enforcement staff agreed that during the 2016-17 academic year, the head coach instructed the student-athlete, a partial qualifier, to participate in five (5) cross country competitions under the name of an eligible women’s cross country student-athlete. Further, the head coach permitted the student-athlete to travel with the women’s cross country and track and field program to six (6) competitions and receive actual and necessary expenses.
Violations of NCAA Division II Manual Bylaw 10.01.1 and 10.1 (2016-17 and 2017-18); 10.1-(i) and 126.96.36.199 (2016-17); and 10.1-(c) (2017-18)
LC and the NCAA enforcement staff agreed that during the 2016-17 academic year and in the spring of 2018, the head coach violated the NCAA principles of ethical conduct for his knowing involvement in violation above and his knowing provision of false or misleading information. Additionally, the head coach violated head coach responsibility legislation, as he is presumed responsible for violations outlined above and did not rebut that presumption.
During the 2016-17 academic year, the head coach knowingly instructed the student-athlete, a partial qualifier, to compete under an eligible women’s cross country student-athlete’s name as detailed above. NCAA Bylaws 10.01.1, 10.1 and 10.1-(i) (2016-17).
On January 22, 2018, the head coach knowingly provided false or misleading information to the NCAA enforcement staff about his knowledge of or involvement in above-referenced violation. Further, on April 13, 2018, the head coach admitted he instructed the student-athlete to compete under an eligible women’s cross country student-athlete’s name in approximately two (2) competitions but denied that the student-athlete competed in any additional competitions. NCAA Bylaws 10.01.1, 10.1 and 10.1-(c) (2017-18).
During the 2016-17 academic year, the head coach did not demonstrate that he promoted an atmosphere of compliance because of his personal involvement in above-referenced violation when he instructed an ineligible student-athlete to compete under an eligible student-athlete’s name. NCAA Bylaw 188.8.131.52 (2016-17).
Violations of NCAA Division II Constitution 2.8.1 (2016-17)
LC and the NCAA enforcement staff agreed that during the 2016-17 academic year, the scope and nature of the violations detailed in above demonstrate that LC violated the principle of rules compliance when it failed to adequately monitor the women’s cross country and track and field program and to ensure compliance with eligibility legislation. Specifically, LC failed to: (a) take action after several athletics department staff members identified and/or were notified about red flags concerning the actions of the then head men’s and women’s cross country and track and field coach, which led to the violations; (b) monitor the travel documents and competition participation lists of the women’s cross country and track and field student-athletes; (c) provide adequate rules education to the athletics department staff and women’s cross country and track and field student-athletes regarding partial qualifier status; and (d) identify and report a violation that the student-athlete, a partial qualifier, traveled to the first track and field competition during the spring of 2017. NCAA Constitution 2.8.1 (2016-17).
As a result of the aforementioned violations, the COI penalized LC as follows:
1. Public reprimand and censure.
2. Probation: Two years of probation from January 18, 2019, through January 17, 2021.
3. Postseason ban: LC will end its Spring 2019 women’s track and field and Fall 2019 women’s cross country seasons with the last regular season competition and shall not participate in postseason competition.
4. Financial penalty: LC shall pay a fine of $2,500.
5. Vacation of records. LC acknowledged that ineligible participation occurred as a result of the violations in this case. Therefore, pursuant to NCAA Bylaws 19.5.2-(g) and 184.108.40.206, LC shall vacate all regular season and conference tournament records and participation in which the ineligible student-athlete detailed in this case competed from the time she became ineligible through the time she was reinstated as eligible for competition.
6. Show Cause: Pursuant to NCAA Bylaw 220.127.116.11, the COI prescribed a five-year show-cause order for the head coach. The show-cause period shall run from January 18, 2019, through January 17, 2024.
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