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Show-Cause for Former Texas Southern Coach Upheld

Johnnie Cole, former head football coach at Texas Southern, was unsuccessful in his appeal of his three-year show-cause order that came from Texas Southern’s 2012 major infractions case. Cole appealed both the show-cause penalty and the findings that he failed to promote an atmosphere of compliance and failed to monitor the football program.

Cole’s appeal of the findings was quickly dismissed by the Infractions Appeals Committee. But how the committee handled the penalty appeal was more interesting. Cole appealed the show-cause in part because of a violation the Committee on Infractions mentioned, but did not find:

It merely referred to the situation in connection with charges against the institution’s basketball coach and cited the matter in its discussion of the former head football coach’s penalty. Under these circumstances, it is reasonable to assume that the Committee on Infractions made such a finding by implication.

Immediately after helping the COI out, the appeals committee took a moment to chastise the Committee on Infractions:

It is important to note that the Infractions Appeals Committee considers such a procedure to be most unwise. In future cases, the Committee on Infractions should make such finding explicitly before referring to a violation in its discussion of the penalties to be imposed on the violator.

This language suggests that the appeals committee will find in favor of coaches or institutions in the future if the COI relies on violations it did not deal with explicitly in the findings. But important to upholding the penalties in this case was that an “extensive review” of precedent for show-cause penalties supported the order imposed on Cole.

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