The NCAA has ruled that a former University of Central Florida head women’s cross country and track and field coach violated NCAA head coach control rules when she did not promote an atmosphere for compliance and failed to monitor a former assistant women’s cross country coach. 

The case was processed through the NCAA’s negotiated resolution process, which was used instead of a formal hearing or summary disposition because UCF, the former head coach and the enforcement staff agreed on the violations and the penalties.

According to a post on the NCAA’s website, which did not give names of the coaches, the former assistant coach named in the case declined to participate in the process.

The agreement stated that the head coach and assistant coach allowed a prospect to participate in morning team workouts, despite being told by compliance she could not participate in the practices until she enrolled at the university. The prospect knew about the workouts because the former assistant coach included her on team text messages. The former head coach believed the prospect was working out as a part of the assistant coach’s track club team, not as a prospective student-athlete. Further, she did not follow up with the assistant coach to ask whether that was the case. The head coach also acknowledged allowing the prospect to participate in an intrasquad meet when she was not enrolled at the university.

Central Florida and the enforcement staff used ranges identified by the Division I membership-approved infractions penalty guidelines to agree upon Level II penalties for the university and former head coach and Level I penalties for the former assistant coach. The head coach participated and agreed upon penalties related to her violations. Those penalties, approved by the Committee on Infractions, are detailed below:

  • One year of probation.
  • A one-year show-cause order for the former head coach. During that period, should she become employed at an NCAA school, she must be suspended from one contest, required to attend monthly compliance meetings and restricted from on-campus recruiting from Oct. 1, 2019 through Dec. 1, 2019.
  • A five-year show-cause order for the former assistant coach. During that period, any NCAA member school employing him must restrict him from any athletically related duties unless it shows cause why the restrictions should not apply.
  • Reduction of women’s cross country scholarships by 2% during the 2019-20 academic year.
  • An eight-week ban on all women’s cross country off-campus recruiting between Jan. 3 and March 7, 2018 (self-imposed by the university).
  • A $5,000 fine.

The decision was reached by a Division I Committee on Infractions panel composed of Carol Cartwright, president emerita at Kent State and Bowling Green; Kay Norton, president emeritus of Northern Colorado; and David Roberts, administrator at Southern California and vice chair of the Committee on Infractions.

Andy Berg is Executive Editor of Athletic Business.