Texas A&M-Corpus Christi Coming Off Probation

Texas A&M-Corpus Christi will finish four years of NCAA probation on Monday for a wide-ranging of violations that mostly started and ended with a failure to report violations. The Corpus Christi Caller-Times had a breakdown of the changes that the Islanders made over the last four years:

“One of the huge changes we made that first year was in the academic center,” Lazenby said. “We created the academic center where there are four full-time workers. They and (current compliance director) Jason Hall report to a vice provost on campus. They work closely with me, but they report elsewhere so there’s no thought that the AD put pressure on them.

“Even before that happened, that’s the way a lot of schools did it. When (A&M-Corpus Christi officials) first started talking to me, they were moving in that direction. The compliance guy should not report to the AD.”

Though compliance and the academic side were separated, an additional person was added to the compliance staff. For baseball coach Scott Malone, who was at the university before the investigation, he said the added manpower is the biggest difference.

TAMU-CC’s violation was part of a trend of lack of institutional control charges against schools that had just moved up to Division I. Understaffed and not prepared for the greater challenges of Division I compliance, the schools often had poor monitoring procedures, an inexperienced and understaffed compliance office, and few of the safeguards that are normal in larger athletic departments.

Corpus Christi’s problems went even deeper, with a broken chain of command between the compliance director, athletic director, and university president. All three discussed not reporting a violation in 2006. And in a separate incident, the athletic director self-reported a violation without the knowledge of the compliance director. It is no wonder that Scott Lazenby, hired from Texas State to clean up the compliance mess, is now the athletic director.

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