The NCAA today released the public report of a major infractions case involving the Southern Mississippi men’s tennis program. The case involved just the one team and mostly centered around one athlete on the team, but resulted in a charge of failure to monitor for the institution as well as long show-cause orders for the coaches involved.
The violations centered around one international prospect. All told, the Committee on Infractions found the following violations involving this one athlete:
- Coaches offered the athlete $5,000 and a car in an effort to keep him from transferring;
- The coaches arranged for another student-athlete to write a paper for the athlete and paid him $150 for doing so;
- The former head coach told the player during a match that if he won, he would give him $200 and placed the money hear the player’s bag, but never gave it to him.
In addition, the COI found a failure to monitor surrounding both the general administration of the tennis program as well as specifically regarding a foreign tour that did not appear to be properly approved. For all of this, the COI levied the following penalties:
- A four-year probation for the school;
- Vacation of wins over a two-year period;
- Southern Miss self-imposed a one-year postseason ban; and
- Show-cause orders for the former head coach and his assistant of seven and six years respectively.
A few quick takeaways from the case:
- A major infractions case involving the offer of money but not actually providing it as well as the COI’s constant reminder that the athlete at the center of the case was a highly recruited prospect mean the specter of the Cam Newton and Reggie Bush cases were brought up in a case involving men’s tennis.
- The report is written in what appears to be a new format which is much harder to follow than the previous format. This might be more accessible to people unfamiliar with these reports, but if you are, it is repetitive, jumps around, and does not cite bylaws as precisely.
- In the section about Southern Mississippi’s failure to monitor, the COI seems to be suggesting a new monitoring burden for institutions. The compliance office is expected to be involved in more of the day-to-day approval of travel expenses as well as review all receipts regularly. Not sure how many schools are doing this already.
- The show-cause orders received by the two coaches are the old, traditional show-cause orders. Most recent show-cause orders have specific restrictions and penalties on the coaches. The two in this case require any school that hires the coach to appear before the Committee on Infractions where restrictions and penalties would be discussed.