Tinkle to Chair D-I Men’s Basketball Ethics Coalition

This article originally appeared at NCAA.org

College basketball runs deep for Wayne Tinkle and his family.

Tinkle, who coached Oregon State to an Elite Eight appearance in the Division I men's basketball tournament in March and will chair the Division I Men's Basketball Ethics Coalition for the next year, was a standout at Montana during his playing days in the 1980s.

He was a three-time all-Big Sky Conference player and ranks fourth in school history in career rebounds and 10th in scoring. His wife, Lisa, was a standout on the Grizzlies women's basketball team and was inducted into the university's sports hall of fame in 2011.

Daughters Joslyn and Elle and son Tres followed in their parents' footsteps to become Division I players. Joslyn, now a women's basketball assistant coach at Montana, played in three Women's Final Fours during her time at Stanford, while Elle helped Gonzaga reach the Sweet 16 in 2015.

Tres played for his father at Oregon State and departed the school after his senior season in 2020 as the program's all-time leading scorer with 2,233 points.

"We didn't shove playing basketball at them," Tinkle said. "We made sure they played baseball, soccer, volleyball and track. We let them all blaze their own trail and were there to love them and support them. That allowed them to enjoy it, and there wasn't a burnout factor."

Tinkle's passion for the sport goes off the court, as well, as he embraces a leadership role with the ethics coalition at a time when changes are coming at a fast and furious pace in Division I men's basketball.

With the one-time transfer exception; name, image and likeness endorsement deals for student-athletes; and possible changes to the governance structure of the NCAA, there are numerous issues for coaches to maneuver.

Men's basketball coaches are also waiting for more infractions cases to be settled in the fallout from the scandal that rocked the sport in September 2017, when four assistant coaches were arrested on fraud and corruption charges after an FBI investigation. The scandal involved charges of a major sportswear company funneling money to players and of coaches taking bribes to steer student-athletes toward certain financial advisors and agents.

While the parts keep moving, Tinkle wants ethics coalition members to provide a steadying voice for those in his profession.

Tinkle, who is entering his eighth season at Oregon State, wants the coalition to focus on the three pillars that are the foundation of the group: education, leadership and mentoring. The goal is to influence younger head and assistant coaches to do things by the book.

"We don't have the power, but we hope to get some momentum to get people to think more seriously about handling their business the right way," Tinkle said. "If we don't do that, it will be hard to help mentor the up-and-coming coaches."

Tinkle wants the coalition to focus on the three pillars of its foundation: education, leadership and mentoring. 

One of the biggest obstacles in the ever-changing environment is there is no blueprint for how to handle issues such as name, image and likeness endorsements as schools operate under differing state laws or perhaps none at all.

Tinkle's advice is to tell coaches to focus on creating a positive atmosphere for student-athletes and for coaches to help facilitate the avenues for their players to pursue their goals along those name, image and likeness lines.

"We need to put out heads together and forecast what might be coming," said Tinkle, who coached his alma mater, Montana, for eight years before taking over at Oregon State. "That way, we can try to get a handle on how things will go."

The other priority is adjusting to the first year of men's basketball student-athletes being able to transfer to another school and being allowed to play right away, as long as they meet academic requirements, without having to sit out a year.

By rule, coaches aren't supposed to reach out to players until they enter their name in the Transfer Portal. But proving someone broke this rule can be hard.

"It's a concern," Tinkle said. "There is going to be pressure on coaches to start a new recruiting list that keeps track of players who have the one-time transfer exemption available to them. How we will be able to control this and enforce the rules? I'm not sure."

It will be a topic the ethics coalition members plan to discuss thoroughly because roster management is a key to every men's basketball program.

Another area of recruiting that will be discussed regards the virtual conversations that took place over the past year during the moratorium on in-person contact due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Like many coaches, Tinkle welcomed the return of in-person evaluations this summer.

"There are definitely parts of talking to recruits and their parents on Zoom that can continue," Tinkle said. "But there are so many advantages to bringing someone in to see your campus. We had a couple of official visits in June, and one of the young men was from the East Coast. He was blown away by the beauty of Corvallis, Oregon. That is hard to replicate if you can't get them to campus."

Greg Johnson is the associate director of communications for NCAA. 
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