The former head women’s basketball coach at Division II Wingate University was cited for unethical conduct in the major infractions case against the school. Most of the violations committed by the coach were relatively mundane. In total, she provided $160 in impermissible benefits to four student-athletes and paid $150 of an enrollment fee for a fifth. But one violation in particular stands out because beyond being against NCAA rules, it is also likely illegal.
Student-athlete 1, the same athlete who received $150 towards her enrollment fee, had been prescribed an anti-inflammatory medication after a hip injury at a previous school. When the student-athlete needed a refill but the team’s athletic trainer was out, the head coach took matters into her own hands:
While waiting for the refill, the former head coach supplied student-athlete 1 with seven to 10 prescription pain relief pills the former head coach possessed. They were left over from a prescription the former head coach had received following her own surgery in 2009. The former head coach was not licensed to prescribe or distribute prescription medication.
Aside from the NCAA rules and potentially laws that were broken, the report describes the athlete’s medication as an “anti-inflammatory” and the coach’s substitute as a “pain reliever”. While those could be the same, we are not even sure she provided the same medication that the athlete was waiting for.
This is the second recent case where a DII coach was found guilty of NCAA violations involving medication. In 2009, University of Incarnate Word was cited for major infractions involving a coach who had provided eight athletes with prescription medication over a period of years.
As far as penalties, Wingate vacated all victories involving Student-Athlete 1 and paid a fine of $5,000. The head coach received a two-year show-cause order with two specific restrictions. If she is employed during that time, she must attend a Regional Rules Seminar each year and is not permitted to operate, manage, or participate in camps or clinics during the show-cause period.