INDIANAPOLIS — Boise State University was cited for multiple violations in various sports, according to findings announced Tuesday by the Division I Committee on Infractions. The case included numerous major violations involving more than 75 prospects and student-athletes in five sports in a five year span. The involved sports included football, men’s and women’s cross country and track and field, and men’s and women’s tennis. The vast majority of the violations found by the committee were agreed upon by the university.
As a part of the findings, the former head women’s tennis coach was cited for unethical conduct and a failure to monitor. A former assistant track coach was also found for unethical conduct. In addition, multiple recruiting violations were found, including impermissible lodging, transportation, practice sessions, financial aid and cash payments.
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Penalties include a four year show-cause order for the former head women’s tennis coach and a two-year show-cause order for the former assistant track coach, which restricts these former coaches’ recruiting activity at any NCAA member school for specified periods of time. University penalties include a one-year postseason ban for women’s tennis, recruiting restrictions, scholarship reductions, vacation of records, a $5,000 fine, and three years of probation.
The committee noted a particular concern with the early arrival of international student-athletes, who in some cases were not yet academically qualified to enroll full-time.
Under the tenure of the former head women’s tennis coach, the program provided prospective student-athletes impermissible cash payments, educational expenses, entertainment, lodging, transportation and practice sessions, according to the findings of the committee. The program additionally allowed a student-athlete to compete one year beyond her eligibility. Further, during the investigation, the former head women’s tennis coach violated the principles of ethical conduct when he knowingly committed and failed to report NCAA violations. The committee also found the former head women’s tennis coach provided and encouraged others to provide false or misleading information to NCAA enforcement staff. This coach was found for a failure to monitor and promote compliance for his role in NCAA violations.
A former assistant track coach was cited for unethical conduct in the recruitment of a prospective student-athlete. After an unofficial visit by the prospective student-athlete, the former coach provided the prospect with a check to partially reimburse travel expenses in relation to the trip. During the formal investigation by the university, the former track coach provided false or misleading information on three occasions.
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The committee also cited recruiting, impermissible housing and transportation violations in the football program during the summers of 2005 through 2009. In particular, it noted that the football violations occurred over a lengthy period of time and involved 63 prospective student-athletes.
Violations were first reported by a former assistant track coach. The university initiated an investigation which was joined by the enforcement staff. This resulted in the discovery of additional violations. Although the university believed the violations reflected a failure to monitor, the committee found that the scope of nature of the violations demonstrate a lack of institutional control. Specifically, Boise State failed to establish an adequate compliance system to report NCAA rules violations with regard to impermissible housing, transportation and other benefits to prospective and enrolled student-athletes. The university failed to provide adequate rules education and training to staff members to ensure compliance. In addition, the university failed to monitor its program to deter, find and report instances of NCAA violations to the NCAA.
The penalties, some of which were self-imposed by the university and adopted by the committee, include:
• Public reprimand and censure.
• Three years of probation from Sept. 13, 2011, through Sept. 12, 2014. The public report further details the conditions of this probation.
• A one-year ban on postseason play following the 2011-12 women’s tennis season.
• Reduction of football scholarships from 85 to 82 for the 2011-12, 2012-13 and 2013-14 academic years.
• Four-year show-cause order for the former women’s tennis head coach from Sept. 13, 2011, through Sept. 12, 2015. The public report further details these conditions.
• Two-year show-cause order for the former assistant track coach. The public report details these conditions.
• Reduction of men’s and women’s track and field scholarships by 1.5 equivalencies from the average annual amount awarded the past four years during the 2011-12 and 2012-13 academic years (self-imposed by the university).
• Reduction of women’s tennis scholarships from eight to five during the 2011-12 and 2012-13 academic years (self-imposed by the university).
• Reduction in practice opportunities for football, men’s tennis and women’s tennis (men’s and women’s tennis self-imposed by the university).
• Reduction of official recruiting visits for men’s tennis, men’s track and field and cross country, and women’s track and field and cross country (self-imposed by the university).
• Reduction in number of recruiters permitted to recruit off-campus for six months during the 2011-12 and 2012-13 academic years for men’s and women’s track and field and cross country (self-imposed by the university).
• Two-year prohibition in the recruitment of international prospective student-athletes for men’s and women’s cross country and track and field and women’s tennis (men’s and women’s cross country and track and field self-imposed by the university).
• The institution must pay a $5,000 penalty as a result of a student-athlete’s ineligible participation (self-imposed by the university).
• Vacation of all wins in which a particular women’s tennis student-athlete participated in during the 2008-09 season, including any postseason competition, and the student-athletes individual records. The public report contains additional details.
The members of the Committee on Infractions who reviewed this case include Dr. Dennis Thomas, the commissioner of the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference and chair of the Committee on Infractions. Other members are Britton Banowsky, commissioner of Conference USA; John S. Black, attorney; James O’Fallon, law professor and faculty athletics representative for University of Oregon; Melissa (Missy) Conboy, deputy director of athletics at the University of Notre Dame; Andrea Myers, athletics director emeritus, Indiana State University; and Gregory Sankey, associate commissioner of compliance for the Southeastern Conference.