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The NCAA Committee on Infractions Has Spoken: University of Dayton

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, 13.4.1.5-(b), 13.4.1.5-(c), 13.4.1.6, 13.7.1, 13.11.1, 13.11.1.14 and 13.12.1.3 (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, 13.4.1.5-(b) and 13.4.1.6 (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, 13.4.1.5-(c) and 13.4.1.6) (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, 13.11.1.4 and 13.12.1.3 (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:


1. Public reprimand and censure.


2. Probation: One year of probation from April 22, 2021, through April 21, 2022.


3. Financial penalty: The institution will pay a fine of $5,000 to the NCAA.


4. Recruiting Restrictions: (a) The institution shall reduce official paid visits in women's volleyball during the 2021-22 academic years to no more than five official paid visits in the women's volleyball program; (b) The institution shall prohibit unofficial visits in women's volleyball for two weeks during the 2021-22 academic year; (c) The institution shall prohibit recruiting communications in women's volleyball for a total of three weeks with two of the weeks occurring during the 2020-21 academic year and one week occurring during the 2021-22 academic year; (d) The institution shall reduce the number of evaluation days in women's volleyball during the 2021-22 academic year by 24 from the number of evaluation days permissible; and (e) The institution shall reduce the number of contacts and evaluations for all prospective student-athletes during the 2021-22 academic year by one.


5. The institution prohibited all volleyball camps from August 2019 until March 11, 2020 (and remains in effect during the COVID-19 dead period).


6. The institution prohibited the women's volleyball program from sending electronic correspondence to the 49 prospective student-athletes detailed above as follows: (a) For prospects in the class of 2021, the women's volleyball program was prohibited from sending otherwise permissible electronic correspondence (e.g. questionnaires, camp and clinic information) from May 22 to June 5, 2019 (16 days) and all electronic correspondence (first date of permissible general correspondence) from June 15 to June 29, 2019 (14 days); (b) For prospects in the class of 2022, the women's volleyball program was prohibited from sending otherwise permissible electronic correspondence from May 22 to June 5, 2019 (16 days) and all electronic correspondence from February 12 to March 12, 2021 (28 days); and (c) For prospects in the class of 2023 the women's volleyball program was prohibited from sending otherwise permissible electronic correspondence from May 22 to June 5, 2019 (16 days); and all electronic correspondence from June 15 to June 29, 2021 (14 days).


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