Appeals committee upholds violations and show-cause order for former Georgia Tech assistant basketball coach
The NCAA Division I Infractions Appeals Committee upheld its finding that a former assistant men’s basketball coach at Georgia Tech violated ethical conduct rules. The former assistant coach must serve a three-year show-cause order, according to the decision.
In the NCAA Division I Committee on Infractions’ decision regarding Georgia Tech, the panel found the former assistant coach arranged contact with a booster at the school who provided impermissible benefits to both the recruit and a host student-athlete. The former assistant coach also violated ethical conduct rules when he did not cooperate with the investigation by first denying that he had arranged the impermissible activity with the booster and then trying to convince the host student-athlete to lie about what happened. In addition to other penalties, the panel prescribed a three-year show-cause order for the former assistant coach.
In his appeal, the former assistant coach argued the findings should be set aside because the facts presented to the Committee on Infractions panel did not constitute a violation of ethical conduct rules. He also argued the show-cause order should be reduced.
In an effort to demonstrate the appealed findings were contrary to the information presented to the panel, the former assistant coach said there were inconsistencies in information provided during interviews, and he challenged the credibility of individuals.
In its response to the appeal, the Committee on Infractions said the panel found that testimony provided by other individuals was credible and corroborated in other interviews.
In its decision, the Infractions Appeals Committee stated that to demonstrate a violation is contrary to the information presented, an appealing individual or school must show more than an alternate reading or application of the information exists. The appeals committee continued that the former assistant coach failed to demonstrate that the information in the case record which he used to challenge the credibility of the witnesses and support his narrative clearly outweighed the information used by the Committee on Infractions to support the unethical conduct violation.
Finally, the former assistant coach said he did not seek NCAA employment during the infractions process. He argued that his show-cause order should be reduced because the imposition of the show-cause penalty occurred 21 months after the investigation was completed, and he should receive credit for “time served.” He also argued that the case was improperly classified as a Level I-Standard case. However, the appeals committee said the Committee on Infractions panel followed its standard practice in prescribing the three-year show-cause penalty to begin on the date the infractions decision is released. Additionally, the appeals committee did not find that the panel abused its discretion when it weighed or considered aggravating and mitigating factors to determine the classification of this case for the former assistant coach. Thus, the committee affirmed the penalty.
The members of the Infractions Appeals Committee who heard this case were Jonathan Alger, president at James Madison; Ellen M. Ferris, associate commissioner for governance and compliance at the American Athletic Conference; W. Anthony Jenkins, acting committee chair of the Division I Infractions Appeals Committee and attorney in private practice; Patricia Ohlendorf, retired vice president for legal affairs at Texas; and Allison Rich, senior associate athletics director and senior woman administrator at Princeton. For more sports coverage, click here.