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The NCAA Committee on Infractions Has Spoken: East Central University (Division II)

The NCAA Division II Committee on Infractions (“Committee”) recently released its findings and found that East Central University (“ECU”) committed major violations of NCAA legislation. This case primarily centered on violations of NCAA recruiting bylaws that occurred in the men's basketball program during the spring and summer of 2011. It also included a violation resulting from a student-athlete failing to sign the NCAA Drug-Testing Consent Form prior to the student-athlete engaging in athletically related activity. In addition, the former head men's basketball coach violated NCAA head coach responsibility and ethical conduct legislation because of his involvement in the violations in this case and for his failure to engage ECU's compliance staff to determine whether certain actions he took were permissible under NCAA legislation. After the investigation concluded the case was submitted to the Committee through the summary disposition process, which is an alternative to a formal hearing before the Committee that may be utilized when the NCAA enforcement staff, the member institution, and involved individuals agree to the facts of an infractions case and that those facts constitute major violations of NCAA legislation.


The Committee found that ECU committed the following violations of NCAA legislation:


Violations of NCAA Division II Manual Bylaw 13.12.2.3.3 (2010-11)


The NCAA enforcement staff, ECU and the head coach, agreed that the head coach attended an April 8, 2011, basketball camp sponsored by a privately owned organization that sponsors basketball camps, before the start of ECU's summer vacation period. While at the camp, the head coach worked as a camp counselor.


Violations of NCAA Division II Manual Bylaws 11.5.1.1, 13.1.2.1, 13.1.2.1.1, 13.1.3.5.2, 13.2.1 and 13.5.1 (2010-2011)


The NCAA enforcement staff, ECU and the head coach agreed that in July 2011, a representative of the institution's athletics interests who had been hired to begin his employment as an assistant coach on August 1, 2011, made impermissible recruiting contact and provided impermissible inducements to at least four men's basketball prospective student-athletes, prior to his official hire date. The head coach provided direction to the athletics representative that led him to engage in impermissible recruiting activities. The athletics representative had not taken the NCAA Division II Coaches Certification (Recruiting) Test prior to the provision of the impermissible recruiting contact and inducements that included impermissible telephone contact, automobile transportation and a meal.


In July 2011, the athletics representative made at least one telephone call each to three men's basketball prospective student-athletes ("prospects 3, 4 and 5", respectively). NCAA Bylaws 11.5.1.1, 13.1.2.1, 13.1.2.1.1 and 13.1.3.5.2 (2010-11).


In July 2011, the athletics representative picked up prospect 4 from the Tulsa International Airport for an official paid visit to the institution's campus. NCAA Bylaws 11.5.1.1, 13.1.2.1 and 13.1.2.1.1 (2010-11).


On July 30, 2011, the athletics representative transported a men's basketball prospective student-athlete, ("prospect 6") from the Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport to the institution's campus, for an approximate value of $82. In route to the institution's campus, the athletics representative purchased a meal and a few nominal cost items for prospect 6. NCAA Bylaws 11.5.1.1, 13.1.2.1, 13.1.2.1.1 and 13.2.1 (2010-11).


Violations of NCAA Division II Manual Bylaws 13.02.4.2, 13.2.1, 13.2.2.-(b), 13.2.2.-(g), 13.2.2-(h), 13.2.2-(l), 13.2.6, 13.5.1 and 13.15.1 (2010-11)


The NCAA enforcement staff, ECU and the head coach agreed that in May, June, July and August 2011, the head coach assisted, provided or arranged to provide $5,522 in impermissible inducements to prospects 1, 2 and 6.


On May 16, 2011, the head coach assisted prospect 1 in the summer school registration process when he used his personal credit card to pay $988.50 for prospective student-athlete 1's tuition at a two-year college, so the prospect could be eligible for the 2011 fall semester. NCAA Bylaw 13.2.1 (2010-11).


On July 7, 2011, the head coach arranged for his girlfriend to use her personal credit card to pay $552 for prospect 1's tuition at four-year institution, so the prospect could be eligible for the 2011 fall semester. NCAA Bylaw 13.2.1 (2010-11).


On August 2, 2011, the head coach assisted prospect 1 in the registration process when he used his personal credit card to pay $425 for prospect 1's tuition at a second two-year college, so the prospect could be eligible for the 2011 fall semester. NCAA Bylaws 13.2.1 and 13.15.1(2010-11).


In June and July 2011, the head coach provided prospects 1's and 2's meals in the institution's cafeteria free of charge, without determining how the meals were to be paid. Both prospects consumed a total of 110 meals in the institution's cafeteria, at a cost of $605.50. NCAA Bylaws 13.2.1 and 13.2.2 -(g) (2010-11).


In June and July 2011, the head coach arranged for prospects 1 and 2 to stay approximately 26 days in on-campus housing, at no cost to them. The housing department's guest rate is $20 per night, per individual, for a total value of $1,040. NCAA Bylaws 13.2.1 and 13.2.2-(h) (2010-11).


In June and July 2011, the head coach arranged for prospects 1 and 2 to use the strength facility on 26 occasions at no charge. The two prospects were not enrolled in the institution's summer term before initial full-time enrollment. Neither prospect signed a National Letter of Intent or written offer of admission. The guest rate for the use of the facility is $5 per day for a total value of $260. NCAA Bylaws 13.2.2.-(g) and 13.2.9 (2010-11).


In June 2011, the head coach arranged for prospect 1 to use a music appreciation book for an online music course in which prospect 1 was enrolled. The total value of the book was $104.20. NCAA Bylaws 13.2.1, 13.2.2-(l) and 13.5.1 (2010-11).


From July 11 to 15, 2011, during an evaluation period, the head coach attended a second men's basketball camp sponsored by the same organization involved in Violation No. 1. While there, the head coach had a conversation with prospect 6 and the prospect's mother. The head coach also provided prospect 6 with institutional apparel. NCAA Bylaws 13.02.4.2 and 13.2.2-(b) (2010-11).


In August 2011, the head coach used his personal credit card to pay $800 for prospect 6's tuition at a two-year college, so that the prospect could be eligible to attend the institution in the 2011 fall semester. NCAA Bylaws 13.2.1 and 13.15.1(2010-11).

In July 2011, the head coach assisted prospect 6 in the summer school registration process by using the head coach's girlfriend's personal credit card to pay $744 for prospect 6's summer school courses at Western Oklahoma State so that he could be eligible to attend the institution for the 2011 fall semester. NCAA Bylaws 13.2.1 and 13.15.1 (2010-11).


On July 30, 2011, after the dinner referenced in Violation No. 2-c, the head coach met the athletics representative and prospect 6 at the institution's athletics facility. The head coach then instructed the athletics representative to transport prospect 6 to the head coach's residence. The head coach allowed prospect 6 to stay at his residence for one night at no charge. The total value for this benefit was $20. NCAA Bylaws 13.2.2-(h) and 13.5.1 (2010-11).


From July 31 to August 4, 2011, the head coach arranged for prospect 6 to reside in the institution's dormitory for five nights free of charge. The guest rate was $20 for a total value of $100. NCAA Bylaws 13.2.2-(h) and 13.2.6 (2010-11).


In June or July 2011, on at least one occasion, the head coach arranged for prospect 6 to use his office computer so that the prospect could complete and submit online assignments for an online summer course. NCAA Bylaw 13.2.1 (2010-11).


Violations of NCAA Division II Manual Bylaw 14.1.4.1 (2011-12)


The NCAA enforcement staff, ECU and the head coach agreed in August 2011, the head coach allowed a men's basketball student-athlete to engage in strength and conditioning exercising with the men's basketball team 13 times prior to him signing the NCAA Drug-Testing Consent Form.


Violations of NCAA Division II Manual Bylaw 10.01.1, 10.1, 10.1-(c) and 11.1.2.1 (2013-14)


The NCAA enforcement staff, ECU and the head coach agree that the head coach violated NCAA head coach's responsibility and ethical conduct legislation when he failed to promote an atmosphere for compliance and when he failed to deport himself in accordance with the generally recognized high standards of honesty normally associated with the conduct and administration of intercollegiate athletics through his involvement in violations of recruiting legislation.


The head coach violated ethical conduct legislation when he directly engaged in and directed others to engage in impermissible recruiting activities, as outlined above. NCAA Bylaws 10.01.1, 10.1, and 10.1-(c) (2013-14).


The head coach violated head coach's responsibility legislation when he failed to promote an atmosphere of compliance by (1) directly engaging in and allowing others to engage in impermissible recruiting activities as set forth above; (2) failing to engage the institution's compliance staff to determine whether his actions, or the actions of others violated NCAA legislation, as set forth above; and (3) allowing a student-athlete to engage in strength and conditioning activities despite warnings from the institution's compliance department prohibiting such conduct, as set forth above. NCAA Bylaw 11.1.2.1 (2013-14).


As a result of the aforementioned violations, the Committee penalized ECU as follows:


1. Public reprimand and censure.


2. One year of probation from June 30, 2015, through June 29, 2016.


3. A financial penalty of $2,500.


4. A program-wide reduction by one week in off-campus recruiting for men's basketball during the recruiting period of March 2012.


5. A 14-day reduction of off-campus recruiting for the interim head men's basketball coach during the period from February 2012 to May 2012.


6. The Great American Conference disqualified the institution's men's basketball team from participation in the 2012 conference basketball tournament.


7. The summary disposition report reflected that the head coach committed multiple, serious recruiting violations, engaged in unethical conduct and failed his responsibilities as a head coach. Therefore, the head coach will be informed in writing by the NCAA that, if he seeks employment or affiliation in an athletically related position at an NCAA member institution during a three-year period (June 30, 2015, through June 29, 2018), he and the involved institution shall be required to either appear before the committee, or submit a written proposal to the committee for consideration whether the member institution shall be subject to a show-cause order pursuant to NCAA Bylaw 19. The show-cause order could require that an institution restrict the head coach's athletically related duties.

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