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The NCAA Committee on Infractions Has Spoken: Southern Indiana University (Division II)

The NCAA Committee on Infractions (“Committee,” “Panel,” or “COI”) recently issued its findings and found that Southern Indiana University (“SIU” or “Institution”) committed major violations of NCAA legislation. This case involved the men's basketball program at SIU. The case consisted of one agreed-upon major violation with two subparts. First, a representative of the institution's athletics interests engaged in impermissible recruiting contacts with a prospective student athlete. Second, the athletics representative purchased a computer for the prospect. 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 the Institution agreed to the violations and the proposed penalty, it has no opportunity to appeal.

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

Violations of NCAA Bylaws (2016-17) and 13.2.1 (2016-17)

Between May 14, 2017, and June 11, 2017, the booster initiated 19 telephone calls totaling 104 minutes and sent 401 text messages to the prospect. Because the prospect was a junior college transfer student-athlete and had yet to enroll at the institution, the booster's communications to the prospect were impermissible. On May 21, 2017, the booster purchased a laptop computer ($1,872.00), carrying case ($53.00) and warranty plan ($199.00) for the prospect at a local electronics store. Following the purchase, the prospect performed yard work and other duties at the booster's home to repay the booster.

The Committee assessed penalties against SIU and penalized SIU as follows:

1. Public reprimand and censure.

2. Disassociation of the booster for a period of five (5) years commencing October 30, 2017 (Self-imposed). During the period of disassociation, the institution shall: (a) refrain from accepting from the booster any financial or in-kind assistance to or for any of USI's intercollegiate athletics program, and to or for any specific intercollegiate sport. This prohibition includes, but is not limited to, financial or in-kind assistance to the USI's Varsity Club or being a member of the Varsity Club; (b) not permit the booster to participate in any organization recognized by USI as a supporter of USI's intercollegiate athletics program (for example, the booster may not attend Varsity Club events); (c) refrain from accepting from the booster any assistance that would aid USI in any manner in the recruitment of prospects for any intercollegiate athletics sport; (d) refuse to accept from the booster any benefits or items of value to any USI intercollegiate athletics sport prospect or enrolled student-athlete (for example, the booster may not employ a prospect or student-athlete); (e) ensure that no athletics benefit or privilege is provided to the booster that is not generally available to the public at large; and (f) prohibit contact or communication between the booster and any enrolled or prospective USI intercollegiate student-athlete, regardless of the sport, for any purpose. This ban extends to all forms of in-person and indirect contact and communication including, but not limited to, contact by social media or by any other form of electronic communication both currently in use or in use at any time during the period of disassociation.

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