The NCAA has announced sanctions against Clark Atlanta University for failure to monitor its athletics department. According to a release from the governing body, the majority of the violations occurred in the men's basketball program and involved an assistant coach and former men's basketball volunteer coach who "acted unethically and provided impermissible benefits to student athletes". The case findings referenced "cash, airline tickets and meals" as well as having three student-athletes being allowed to compete while ineligible.
The penalties, including those imposed by the university, include three years of probation and a vacation of wins in which ineligible student-athletes competed. The former head coach and former volunteer coach each received a one-year show-cause order, and the assistant coach received a two-year show-cause order. If any of the three coaches seeks employment at an NCAA member school during the show-cause period, the school must agree to follow any conditions on the coach’s athletically related duties as detailed in the public report.
The former volunteer coach provided impermissible benefits to student-athletes on several occasions between August 2011 and March 2012. He used personal funds to provide the men’s basketball team impermissible meals worth approximately $200. In addition, he arranged for a student-athlete to obtain a roundtrip airline ticket for a discount of approximately $750 to $1,250. He also arranged for four student-athletes to receive cash benefits totaling approximately $4,600 to $4,800, with each receiving $1,000 or more.
The assistant coach obtained a student-athlete’s personal identification number from the school’s registrar, which enabled the student-athlete to register for courses in a manner outside the established registration procedure, thus enabling the student-athlete to remain eligible for practice and competition.
Both the assistant coach and former volunteer coach violated NCAA ethical conduct rules when they knowingly provided impermissible benefits to student-athletes and provided false or misleading information about their involvement.
This case also included violations in the women’s tennis program. During the 2010-11 academic year, a women’s tennis student-athlete competed while ineligible, after transferring from another school and before completing a year of residence at the university. Further, she competed during the 2011-12 academic year, after completing four seasons of competition and exhausting her eligibility.
- Public reprimand and censure.
- Three years of probation from January 24, 2014, through January 23, 2017. (The university proposed a one-year probationary period for the basketball and tennis programs).
- A $5,000 fine.
- A vacation of all men’s basketball wins in which student-athletes competed while ineligible (imposed by the school).
- A revocation of the 2011 SIAC Conference Championship for women’s tennis (imposed by the school).
- A one-year show-cause order for the former head coach. The public report contains the further details.
- A two-year show-cause order for the assistant coach. The public report contains the further details.
- A one-year show-cause order for the former volunteer coach. The public report contains the further details.
- A limit of nine total athletics scholarships for the men’s basketball program for the 2014-15 academic year, a reduction of one.
- A limit of four total athletics scholarships for the women's tennis program for the 2014-15 academic year, a reduction of two.
- An external audit of the school’s athletics program must be conducted.
Members of the Division II Committee on Infractions are drawn from NCAA membership and members of the public. The members of the committee who reviewed this case are Douglas D. Blais, faculty athletic representative, Southern New Hampshire University; Jean Paul Bradshaw II, attorney; Bridget Lyons, senior associate director of athletics and senior woman administrator, Barry University; Julie A. Rochester, chair of the DII Committee on Infractions and faculty athletic representative and associate professor, Northern Michigan University; Carey J. Snyder, associate director of athletics, East Stroudsburg University of Pennsylvania; and Jane Teixeira, assistant compliance commissioner and senior woman administrator, Pacific West Conference.