The NCAA Committee on Infractions (“Committee” or “Panel” or “COI”) recently issued its findings and found that the University of Dayton (“institution” or “UD” or “Dayton”) committed violations of NCAA legislation. During the 2018-19 academic year, the women’s volleyball coaching staff sent impermissible recruiting correspondence and conducted tryouts in violation of NCAA legislation.
In March 2019, a confidential source notified the NCAA enforcement staff that the Dayton women’s volleyball coaching staff invited select prospective student-athletes, who were otherwise prohibited from taking unofficial visits, to its camps by emailing the link to a registration button located at the bottom of the women’s volleyball coaching staff biographies page on the women’s volleyball camp website. The NCAA enforcement staff conducted interviews with a 10th grade prospect and her club coach who confirmed the women’s volleyball coaching staff sent emails with the camp link to the club coach, who then shared the information with the prospect.
Later in the spring of 2019, the institution learned of potential recruiting correspondence violations involving a compliance office approved questionnaire sent to prospective student-athletes in April 2019. The institution submitted a self-report to the Level III/secondary staff in June 2019.
In August 2019, the institution and NCAA enforcement staff began a collaborative investigation regarding the camp issue, which included reviewing the women’s volleyball coaching staff’s January 1 through June 30, 2019, email records. In addition to confirming tryout violations as outlined below, the emails also revealed impermissible recruiting correspondence as outlined below.
This case was resolved through a negotiated resolution.
The Committee concluded that UD committed the following violations:
Violations of NCAA Division I Manual Bylaws 13.4.1, 22.214.171.124-(b), 126.96.36.199-(c), 188.8.131.52, 13.7.1, 13.11.1, 184.108.40.206 and 220.127.116.11 (2018-19) (Level II)
It was agreed that during the 2018-19 academic year, the women’s volleyball staff engaged in multiple impermissible recruiting activities with at least 279 prospective student-athletes.
During the 2018-19 academic year, the women’s volleyball staff sent impermissible electronic recruiting correspondence prior to September 1 at the beginning of the junior year of 279 prospective student-athletes and/or club coaches of the prospective student-athletes. During the 2018-19 academic year, the women’s volleyball staff sent emails on 1,118 occasions to the club coaches of at least 279 prospective student-athletes prior to September 1 at the beginning of their junior year in high school. The emails included requests that the club coaches forward information to specific prospective student-athletes about the women’s volleyball program, and/or the program’s interest in communicating with and/or hosting the prospective student-athletes on the institution’s campus. NCAA Bylaws 13.4.1, 18.104.22.168-(b) and 22.214.171.124 (2018-19). In April 2019, the women’s volleyball staff sent compliance approved questionnaires with impermissible recruiting language via text message to 49 prospective student-athletes prior to September 1 at the beginning of their junior year in high school. NCAA Bylaws 13.4.1, 126.96.36.199-(c) and 188.8.131.52) (2018-19).
From February 2 through March 30, 2019, the women’s volleyball program conducted five camps that were not open to any and all entrants. As a result, 19 prospective student-athletes participated in impermissible tryouts before September 1 at the beginning of their junior year in high school. NCAA Bylaws 13.7.1, 13.11.1, 184.108.40.206 and 220.127.116.11 (2018-19).
Aggravating and Mitigating Factors in accordance with NCAA Bylaws 19.9.3 and 19.9.4
Aggravating Factors for the Institution
A history of Level I, Level II or major violations by the institution. NCAA Bylaw 19.9.3-(b).
Mitigating Factors for the Institution
Affirmative steps to expedite final resolution of the matter. NCAA Bylaw 19.9.4-(c).
An established history of self-reporting Level III or secondary violations. NCAA Bylaw 19.9.4-(d).
As a result of the foregoing, the Committee penalized UD as follows: