Report highlights

Thursday, June 19, 2008

From the Southeast Missouri State Public Infractions Report by the NCAA, as it pertains to the women's basketball program:

Introduction

The Committee on Infractions "accepted the agreed-upon facts contained in the summary disposition report but decided to impose penalties additional to those proposed by the institution. Neither the institution nor the former head coach agreed to the additional penalties. ... The committee could have conducted an expedited in-person hearing on the issue of penalties only, as requested by the institution, had the former head coach also agreed. Instead, he requested a full infractions hearing; that hearing was conducted on April 19, 2008, with both the institution and the former head coach attending.

"The case centered on recruiting violations in the women's basketball program, primarily involving impermissible housing and transportation of prospects who moved to the vicinity of the institution in the summer prior to their first full-time enrollment.

"The committee also has emphasized, repeatedly, that institutions have a concomitant heightened obligation to be vigilant in tracking these prospects to assure compliance with NCAA bylaws.

"In this case, the institution failed to recognize or follow up on 'red flags' in the women's basketball program that should have alerted it to the potential for violations. In fall 2003, the institution conducted an internal investigation prompted by rules violations alleged by members of the women's basketball team. During that investigation, the institution

learned that women's basketball prospects were living in the vicinity of campus prior to their first full-time enrollment. Thereafter, the institution neither adopted procedures reasonably calculated to assure rules compliance nor monitored the presence of prospects on campus. In July 2004, the institution's then assistant director of athletics for compliance and student services wrote to the director of athletics expressing concern that, among other things, women's basketball prospects were 'required' to live in the vicinity of campus during the summer prior to first full-time enrollment. The director of athletics said that he considered this second investigation to be a 'continuation' of the 2003 inquiry. Once again the institution neither adopted procedures reasonably calculated to assure rules compliance nor monitored the presence of prospects on campus.

"In addition to the lack of institutional control exhibited with regard to women's basketball prospects, the institution also failed to exercise institutional control regarding off-campus recruiting in women's basketball and in team travel in men's basketball. In both instances there were procedures in place; in both instances the institution failed to follow them."

Recruiting violations

* "During the summers of 2004 and 2005, seven prospects and the mother of one of them received impermissible automobile transportation from women's basketball managers, women's basketball student-athletes and/or prospective women's basketball student-athletes. The transportation was arranged for by members of the women's basketball coaching staff.

* "During the summers of 2003, 2004 and 2005, six prospects lived cost-free in an off-campus house rented by women's basketball student-athletes." The house was rented and occupied by varioius members of the team from the summer of 2003 through 2005. "During the summers, prospects also lived in the house. Most of them paid rent;" six outlined in the report didn't. "The women's basketball coaching staff knew that on some occasions prospects lived in the house but made no effort to assure that they paid a commensurate share of the rent."

* "During summer 2004 members of the women's basketball coaching staff provided impermissible transportation to four prospects from the house to venues in the locale," including transporting a bed to the house and driving a prospective student-athlete to a gas station and back.

* "During the summers of 2002, 2003, 2004 and 2005, members of the women's basketball coaching staff permitted two prospects to observe or volunteer at women's basketball summer camps and to receive cost free housing and/or meals during the summers of 2002 and 2003." Since the NCAA membership services staff had erroneously advised Southeast in the fall of 2003 that volunteering by prospects was allowed, the committee only acted on two prior incidents where volunteers and a prospect's mother received housing and meals.

* A former assistant coach in July and August 2004 allowed a prospective student-athlete "to use his office computer to complete course work for a correspondence course offered by another institution."

* Prospective student-athletes "engaged in voluntary summer workouts conducted by the institution's strength and conditioning coach" in the summers of 2004 and 2005 although they had not yet signed with the university.

Conclusion on findings

"The institution and the enforcement staff agreed with the facts in this finding and that major violations of NCAA legislation occurred. It was the institution's position that, standing alone, each violation was secondary but that in the aggregate the violations were major. The committee finds that the violations occurred.

"There is no question that these violations are major. There were numerous violations spanning a four-year period. The violations were neither isolated nor inadvertent, they provided more than a minimal recruiting or competitive advantage, and they included significant recruiting inducements or extra benefits."

Lack of institutional control

"The scope and nature of the violations detailed ... demonstrate that the former head coach failed to monitor the women's basketball program to assure compliance with all applicable NCAA rules."

The report details opportunities the university missed to monitor the program: following the internal investigation in the fall of 2003, following the memo from the former assistant AD for compliance in the summer of 2004, the failure to audit off-campus recruiting documents in 2002-03 and 2004-05, and the failure to audit the men's teams travel documents in 2004-05 and 2005-06.

Secondary violations

* Four prospective student-athletes worked at summer camp volunteers in 2004 and 2005.

* The former head coach and staff members observed on-campus summer activities of student-athletes and prospective student-athletes in the summers of 2003, 2004 and 2005.

* The former head coach provided meal money to three prospects and one student-athlete in 2005 during the holiday break (Dec. 21 through Dec. 24) while they stayed on campus.

* The program had one too many coaches out recruiting "on three days in March 2003 and two days in September 2004." Impermissible contact was made with a prospect by a manager and the friend of an assistant coach in October 2004. A student-athlete gave a prospect "$10 of student host money to buy a CD."

* At the OVC tourney in March 2006, a former assistant who was coaching at a high school was given free admission to the event and kept the scorebook for the team.

Penalties (self-imposed)

From June 2006:

* "A reduction by three" from 15 to 12 "in the number of" scholarships for women's basketball in 2006-07.

* "A reduction by five" from 85 to 80 "in the number of recruiting days in women's basketball ... between September 2006 and August 2007. (Self-imposed penalty adopted by the committee.)

* "A prohibition on off-campus recruiting by the former head coach during the July 2006 evaluation period."

New penalties

Announced Wednesday:

* "Public reprimand and censure."

* "A two-year probationary period" effective Tuesday and "ending June 17, 2010."

* "The institution will vacate all wins in which ineligible student-athletes competed during the 2004-05 and 2005-06 women's basketball seasons. Further, the institution's records regarding women's basketball as well as the record of the former head coach will be reconfigured to reflect the vacated wins and so recorded in all publications in which women's basketball records for the affected seasons and post season are reported, including, but not limited to, media guides, recruiting material, electronic media and institutional and NCAA archives. Finally, any public

reference to these vacated contests, including the institution's appearance in the 2006 NCAA Division I Women's Basketball Tournament, shall be removed from athletics department stationery, banners displayed in public areas and any other forum in which they may appear."

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