By Anthony Caruso III | Publisher
According to an NCAA press release, Thomas More College has failed to monitor its women’s basketball program. They failed to report that a women’s basketball student-athlete was living with a former women’s basketball assistant coach.
The Division III Committee on Infractions made the announcement on Tuesday. The report alleges that the women’s basketball head coach failed to fulfill his responsibilities when “he did not monitor the former assistant coach and did not promote an atmosphere for compliance in his program.”
The program has been hit with a probation, a loss of women’s basketball wins when the student-athlete was ineligible and a self-imposed fine.
The former assistant coach allowed the student-athlete to live with them for eight months. It was free housing for the player, as she was recovering from surgery, according to the report.
The NCAA does not allow that college employees provide free housing to student-athletes. The former assistant coach and his family had an existing relationship with the player.
When three staff members learned that the student-athlete was living with the coach, they failed to look into the matter with the NCAA, according to the report. “Because the staff members did not recognize the arrangement as an extra benefit, the student-athletes competed an entire season while ineligible,” the report says.
The head coach was allegedly not aware of the living arrangement until the assistant coach brought it to his attention. The head coach approved of it until the athletic director stepped in.
“The head coach did not promote an atmosphere for compliance when he did not follow department protocol and seek clarification about the living arrangement with the athletic director,” the report adds.
People at the college through that the living arrangement was permissible. The NCAA found that the school failed to give proper education of the rules.
“Because it did not provide rules education and did not recognize the impermissible living arrangement, the college did not monitor its women’s basketball program,” the report alleges.
- Public reprimand and censure for the college
- Two years probation for the college from Nov. 15, 2016, through Nov. 14, 2018.
- A vacation of all wins in which the student-athlete competed while ineligible (the college would know what games are impacted after the NCAA releases its public report)
- A $2,500 fine
- An outside audit of the college’s athletics program, with an emphasis on financial aid policies and procedures. The school must implement all recommendations made by the reviewer (self-imposed by the college
- Several staff members, including the head coach, athletics director, and compliance officer, must attend at least one NCAA Regional Rules Seminar
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