Wichita State penalized after staffer gives baseball players extra benefits
Wichita State did not monitor the activities of a former administrative assistant regarding her use of a VIP account provided by the school’s apparel provider, according to a decision issued by a Division I Committee on Infractions panel. For nearly two years, 21 baseball players purchased shoes, clothing, hunting gear and other non-athletics items for a total of $7,594.18, using the 50 percent discount. Because the discount provided by the former assistant was not generally available to the full student body, family and friends, the discount is considered an extra benefit to the players.
Penalties include one year probation, a $5,000 fine and the school must vacate all wins in which the baseball players participated while ineligible.
The former assistant provided her log-in information to the baseball players so they could access her computer and VIP account. The athletes paid for the items themselves and believed they could order items in this manner as a part of the school’s agreement with the apparel provider.
While the former assistant had a working knowledge of NCAA rules, the school acknowledged it should have provided her with further rules education and didn’t closely monitor her VIP account activities. Additionally, the school failed to implement recommended changes to its apparel purchasing system that would have ultimately helped avoid the extra benefit violations. Because of this, the school failed to monitor its baseball program.
Penalties and corrective measures include:
• Public reprimand and censure.
• One year of probation from January 29, 2015 through January 28, 2016.
• A fine of $5,000.
• A vacation of all regular season and conference tournament wins in which the 21 baseball players competed while ineligible. The public decision contains further detail.
Members of the Committee on Infractions are drawn from NCAA membership and members of the public. The members of the panel who reviewed this case are Carol Cartwright, president emeritus at Kent State University; Melissa Conboy, deputy director of athletics at the University of Notre Dame; Thomas Hill, senior vice president for student affairs at Iowa State University; Joel Maturi, former University of Minnesota athletics director; Eleanor W. Myers, chief hearing officer and law professor and faculty athletics representative at Temple University; Jim O’Fallon, law professor and faculty athletics representative at the University of Oregon; and Greg Sankey, executive associate commissioner and chief operating officer for the Southeastern Conference.