Southeast's punishment from NCAA still up in air

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Kaverman hasn't heard from the Committee on Infractions.

The NCAA Division I Committee on Infractions met Friday through Sunday in Indianapolis, but there's no guarantee the Southeast Missouri State women's basketball situation was on the agenda.

"The committee could have looked at it or they might not have," Southeast athletic director Don Kaverman said. "I haven't heard anything through our consultant."

Southeast has been the subject of an NCAA inquiry since February of 2006, shortly after Southeast president Dr. Kenneth Dobbins asked the Ohio Valley Conference commissioner's office to look into potential violations.

The OVC contracted The Compliance Group, directed by Chuck Smrt, to run the probe. Smrt's group remains active as the consultant for the university.

The Compliance Group and the university last summer released a preliminary status report that disclosed a number of violations and recommended sanctions. The university adopted those sanctions, which included a reduction in women's basketball scholarships from 15 to 12 for the 2006-07 season.

Since then, Southeast coach B.J. Smith resigned and the women's team went on to win a second consecutive OVC tournament title and NCAA tourney berth.

The university agreed to settle the case with the NCAA through summary disposition, which Kaverman says includes the process of reaching an agreement by all parties involved.

The report from the NCAA enforcement staff, which included agreement on Southeast's end through The Compliance Group, can either be approved by the Committee on Infractions or sent back to the staff for more work.

Kaverman said he wasn't certain whether the university would hear next from the committee or the enforcement staff nor where Southeast's case stood on the priority list.

For instance, allegations about the University of Oklahoma football program's failure to monitor the work of three student-athletes working at a car dealership were reported to the NCAA in March 2006, after the Southeast investigation began, and the Committee on Infractions conducted a hearing in April and released its report on the case in July.

That report includes references to three precedents of failure to monitor student-athletes' employment, including the Southeast men's basketball program's violations in 1999.

The Committee on Infractions next meets Oct. 5 to 7 in Kansas City.

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