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The following is the NCAA/Washington Public Infractions Report released by the NCAA on July 17, 2003. It concerns recruiting violations precipitated by the basketball staff.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: CONTACT:

July 17, 2003 Thomas E. Yeager, chair

NCAA Division I

Committee on Infractions

Colonial Athletic Association

UNIVERSITY OF WASHINGTON PUBLIC INFRACTIONS REPORT

CONTENTS

Introduction

Findings of Violation of NCAA Legislation

Committee on Infractions Penalties

Appendix: Case Chronology

I. INTRODUCTION.

On August 20, 2002, a head men's basketball coach at another member institution (henceforth, "the rival coach") telephoned the NCAA enforcement staff to report concerns about possible recruiting violations committed by members of the University of Washington men's basketball coaching staff. Specifically, the rival coach reported that during the summer of 2002, a Washington assistant men's basketball coach (henceforth, "assistant coach A") made several impermissible telephone and in-person contacts with four prospective student-athletes (henceforth, "prospects 1, 2, 3 and 4", respectively). The rival coach also reported that Washington's head men's basketball coach (henceforth, "the head coach") and assistant coach A impermissibly attended Amateur Athletics Union (AAU) team practices, and the director of basketball operations (henceforth, "the director of operations") attended an off-campus basketball event and evaluated prospects, contrary to NCAA legislation.

On August 22, 2002, the Pacific-10 Conference received information regarding alleged recruiting violations committed by the Washington men's basketball staff. On August 23, the conference's assistant commissioner for governance and enforcement (henceforth, "the assistant commissioner") contacted the NCAA enforcement staff to discuss the matter. The enforcement staff informed the assistant commissioner that the NCAA enforcement staff would begin conducting preliminary interviews regarding the matter and invited the conference to join the investigation. The subsequent investigation ultimately revealed a number of violations of NCAA legislation relating to impermissible telephone calls; in-person, off-campus recruiting contacts and evaluations; attendance at organized practices that were not designated as part of any NCAA-certified event; evaluation of prospective student-athletes by an institutional staff member involved in non-coaching activities and unethical conduct on the part of assistant coach A.

This case was handled through the summary disposition process and was reviewed by the Division I Committee on Infractions during its April 2003 meeting. The summary disposition process is a cooperative endeavor that may be used when the NCAA enforcement staff, the member institution and involved individuals agree on the facts of an infractions case and that those facts constitute major violations of NCAA legislation. Once an agreement has been reached between the involved parties and the enforcement staff, the committee reviews the case through the written record, thus avoiding the need for a formal hearing before the committee. This process also permits the institution to recommend appropriate penalties, which it did in this case. Upon review of the penalties proposed by the university, the committee contacted the institution and recommended that the university accept additional penalties. Specifically, the committee concluded that the university's athletics programs should be placed on NCAA probation for a period of two years commencing on February 10, 2003, (the start date of a one-year period of probation imposed by the Pac-10 Conference) and that there be a reduction of one athletics grant (from 13 to 12) in men's basketball for either the 2003-04 or the 2004-05 academic year. Because the committee did not fully accept the university's proposed penalties and suggested additional penalties, Washington had the option to request an expedited in-person hearing before the committee to further discuss this issue. In a letter dated May 5, the university's president advised the committee that the institution accepted the additional penalties, thus waiving the opportunity for an expedited hearing.

Washington has an enrollment of approximately 39,000 students and sponsors 10 men's and 11 women's intercollegiate sports. This was the university's fourth major infractions case, the university also had infractions cases in 1994 (football), 1983 (men's basketball) and 1957 (football).  

II. FINDINGS OF VIOLATIONS OF NCAA LEGISLATION.

A. IMPERMISSIBLE RECRUITING CONTACTS. [NCAA Bylaws 13.01.6, 13.1.1.1, 13.1.7.2.3 and 13.1.7.2.1-(b)]

During the period May to August 2002, assistant coach A made several impermissible in-person recruiting contacts with prospect 1 and his family, and one with the mother of prospect 2, even though the young men had just completed their sophomore years in high school and could not be contacted in person under NCAA legislation. Further, assistant coach A made contact with the club team coaches of prospects 1 and 2 during the time period in which prospects 1 and 2 were participating in NCAA-certified summer events. Specifically:

On May 12, assistant coach A greeted and had a brief conversation with prospect 1 and his father as the prospect was entering the gym to participate in a high-school spring league basketball game conducted on Washington's campus.  

On July 21, assistant coach A spoke with prospect 1 and his club team coaches in a group conversation during a Southwest Airlines flight from Seattle, Washington, to Las Vegas, Nevada, where the team was traveling to participate in the Adidas Big Time Tournament. Assistant coach A sat one row behind prospect 1 and the club team coaches during the flight when the conversation occurred.  

On July 24, during the Adidas Big Time Tournament, assistant coach A went to the hotel room of the club team coaching staff members and visited with them for approximately two hours.  

On July 28, during the Elite 8x2 Tournament in Berkeley, California, assistant coach A went to the hotel room of the club team coaching staff members and accompanied them to dinner. Assistant coach A's time with the coaches totaled approximately four hours.  

On July 29, at the Elite 8x2 AAU Tournament in Berkeley, California, assistant coach A spoke for approximately 45 minutes with an assistant coach of the club team. During the conversation, prospect 1 sat at the same table as the coaches and spoke with them for approximately 10 minutes. The club team had been eliminated from the competition.

On July 30, assistant coach A encountered the club team at the Oakland International Airport because the team and assistant coach A were ticketed to fly on a Southwest Airlines flight from Oakland, California, to Seattle, Washington. Assistant coach A began speaking with the coaches of the club team, and during the conversation, prospect 1 approached and participated in the discussion. Additionally, assistant coach A had a conversation with prospect 1 during the flight because assistant coach A selected a seat in the same row as prospect 1 with an open seat between them. 

On July 31, during an evaluation period, assistant coach A attended an open-gym activity at a high school in Bremerton, Washington, in which prospect 2 was participating. While at the gym, the mother of prospect 2, initiated a greeting with assistant coach A and they proceeded to have a 20-minute conversation before the mother of prospect 2 left the gym. 

On August 16, assistant coach A and his wife drove from Seattle, Washington, to Clarkston, Washington (a one-way distance of approximately 320 miles), where prospect 1 lived. Through earlier telephone communication with prospect 1, assistant coach A knew that prospect 1 and his family were going to be dining at a pizza restaurant in Clarkston at approximately 4 p.m. At 4:45 p.m. assistant coach A and his wife arrived at the restaurant, and upon entering, went to prospect 1's table and spoke with the family for approximately five minutes. Further, assistant coach A again briefly spoke to prospect 1 while waiting for his pizza and instructed the young man to call him on his cellular phone. Assistant coach A then had a six-minute cell phone conversation with prospect 1 and his father in the restaurant. Finally, as the prospect and his family were leaving the restaurant, they stopped by assistant coach A's table to say goodbye and another conversation ensued.

Later that evening, assistant coach A drove to a park in Clarkston where prospect 1 was playing basketball with two of his friends. As assistant coach A sat in his car, the prospect's mother, her daughter and granddaughter walked over to assistant coach A's vehicle and spoke briefly to him.

Committee Rationale

The enforcement staff, the institution and assistant coach A agreed with the facts of this finding and that violations of NCAA legislation occurred. The committee concurred, and concluded that the violations set forth in Finding II-A were neither inadvertent nor isolated, and thus were major violations. The committee viewed these violations as serious in that assistant coach A's involvement in these violations demonstrated an intentional disregard for NCAA bylaws. Assistant coach A's contacts with prospective student-athletes or their family members at a time when NCAA legislation prohibited such contact was particularly troubling to the committee. At the time of the violations, a significant recruiting advantage was gained by the institution because of assistant coach A's impermissible recruitment of prospect 1. 

B. IMPERMISSIBLE TELEPHONE CONTACTS FOR RECRUITING PURPOSES. [NCAA Bylaw 13.1.3.1.2]

In July and August 2002, assistant coach A made at least 12 impermissible telephone contacts for recruiting purposes with prospects 1 and 2, prior to their junior years in high school. Specifically:

Assistant coach A placed the following calls to prospect 1: July 31, one call to prospect 1's cellular phone; August 1, one to prospect 1's home; August 7, two to prospect 1's cellular phone and two to his home; August 8, one to prospect 1's cellular phone; August 14, one to prospect's 1 home; August 16, one to prospect 1's home or cellular phone from a pay telephone. Further, assistant coach A telephoned prospect 2 at his home once on July 19 and twice on August 9.

Committee Rationale

The enforcement staff, the institution, and the involved assistant coaches acknowledged that violations occurred as set forth in the finding. The committee concluded that any contact with prospects during a time when other institutions are not permitted to contact the prospect is an unfair recruiting advantage. The extent of that advantage is difficult to quantify, as are most matters that concern the decision-making process of a prospect. However, the committee concluded that these impermissible contacts, which started in July, allowed the institution to be the first to have in-person contact with the prospect, and therefore were extremely advantageous. Assistant coach A's telephone calls to the prospective student-athletes were made seven months before telephone calls could be made according to the applicable rules. The aggressive nature of assistant coach A's recruiting practices and his circumvention of NCAA legislation led to these numerous contact violations. 

C. IMPERMISSIBLE EVALUATION. [NCAA Bylaws 13.02.4.3 and 13.12.1]

On August 16, during a quiet period, assistant coach A impermissibly evaluated prospect 1 when he observed him shooting baskets and playing two-on-two basketball at a park in Clarkston, Washington. Through earlier e-mail communication with prospect 1, assistant coach A informed the prospective student-athlete that he (assistant coach A) would be in Clarkston, and learned that prospect 1 and his friends were going to play basketball at a park while assistant coach A was in town. Assistant coach A sat in his car and observed prospect 1 and his friends for approximately five to 10 minutes.

Committee Rationale

The enforcement staff, the institution and assistant coach A agreed with the facts and that violations of NCAA legislation occurred. The committee believed that this was yet another example of assistant coach A's over aggressiveness in recruiting, causing him to violate NCAA legislation.  

D. IMPERMISSIBLE ATTENDANCE AT A NON-CERTIFIED EVENT. [NCAA Bylaw 13.13.3]

During July 2002, the head coach and assistant coach A attended organized practices of AAU teams, although these practices were not designated as part of any NCAA-certified summer basketball event. Specifically:

The head coach attended at least one practice of another club team at a high school in Seattle, Washington, and observed drills, three-on-three games, warm-ups and scrimmaging for approximately one hour. During that same time period, the head coach also attended one practice of the first club team referenced in this report at a local university and observed drills and shooting.

Assistant coach A attended at least three practices of the first club team located in Seattle, Washington, and at a local university, and observed drills and shooting. Additionally, assistant coach A attended three practices of the AAU team at a local high school and observed drills.

Committee Rationale

Although the institution and the head coach believed there was some confusion over whether he was observing an open gym or a practice, they concurred with the facts and that violations of NCAA legislation occurred. The committee agreed.

Attendance at practices is limited to those practices in conjunction with a certified event. In fact, an NCAA official interpretation dated June 20, 2002, states that during the summer evaluation period, it is permissible for basketball coaches to attend organized team practices in preparation for a certified event only if such practice time has been designated by the organizer as part of the event. 

E. UNETHICAL CONDUCT. [NCAA Bylaws 10.01.01 and 10.1]

Assistant coach A failed to deport himself in accordance with the generally recognized high standards normally associated with the conduct and administration of intercollegiate athletics and violated the provisions of ethical conduct by his knowing and repeated involvement in conduct prohibited by NCAA legislation in an attempt to gain a recruiting advantage as set forth in Findings II-A through II-C of this report.

Committee Rational 

The enforcement staff, the institution and assistant coach A agreed with the facts and that assistant coach A knowingly engaged in conduct prohibited by NCAA legislation in an attempt to gain a recruiting advantage. The committee agreed.

SECONDARY VIOLATIONS [NCAA Bylaws 11.7.1.1.1.1, 13.1.2.1.1, 13.1.3.1.2, and 13.12.1]

On August 5, 2002, another assistant coach called the home of prospect 4 to apologize to his family for sending correspondence related to Washington after prospect 4 verbally committed to another institution. The conversation lasted approximately two minutes.  

On July 3, 2002, the director of operations attended an off-campus basketball event and evaluated prospects. Specifically, the director of operations attended a high-school summer league all-star game at a near-by community college. The director of operations returned to campus after the event and informed the men's basketball coaching staff that the game was a "waste of time because there was not much talent."  

On August 9, 2002, during an unofficial visit to the institution's campus, assistant coach A and prospect 1 threw a football for approximately two minutes while they observed the institution's football practice. 

III. COMMITTEE ON INFRACTIONS PENALTIES.

For the reasons set forth in Parts I and II of this report, the Committee on Infractions found that this case involved several major violations of NCAA legislation.

A. PENALTIES SELF-IMPOSED BY THE UNIVERSITY.

In determining the appropriate penalties to impose, the committee considered the institution's self-imposed penalties and corrective actions. The university imposed the following penalties: 

Terminated recruitment of prospect 1.

Prohibited assistant coach A from participating in any off-campus activities for the entire academic year (September 2002 to July 2003), and suspended assistant coach A for one month without pay and reduced his pay by another month's salary. 

Issued letters of reprimand to the assistant coach A and the head coach, and a letter of caution to another assistant coach.

Reduced by two the permissible contacts and reduced by three the permissible phone calls to a second prospective student-athlete for March (one otherwise permissible call), June (one otherwise permissible call) and the first week in July, as penalties and corrective measures for the one impermissible contact and three impermissible phone calls made to that prospect.

Prohibited the entire coaching staff from recruiting at one otherwise permissible premier AAU tournament in the summer of 2003. (This penalty was clarified by the Pac-10 Council to specify the precluded tournament as the Adidas Big Time Tournament in Las Vegas.)

Required the head coach and assistant coach A to meet monthly with the assistant athletics director for compliance and/or the faculty athletics representative. (This corrective measure was modified by the Pac-10 Council to require the entire basketball staff and director of basketball operations to attend monthly meetings with both the assistant athletics director for compliance and the faculty athletics representative.) 

Required that the entire full-time men's basketball staff attend the 2003 NCAA Regional Seminar.

The Pac-10 Conference imposed the following additional penalties upon the university.  

Required the university, if its elects to renew assistant coach A's contract to report to the Pac-10 Conference whether assistant coach A has maintained compliance with the NCAA rules and the reasons why the university believes that he should be retained as a coach.

Publicly reprimanded the university and placed the men's basketball program on probation for a one-year period.

B. ADDITIONAL PENALTIES IMPOSED BY THE COMMITTEE ON INFRACTIONS.

The Committee on Infractions agreed with and approved of the actions taken by the university and the Pac-10 Conference, but decided to impose additional penalties because of the serious and intentional nature of the recruiting violations in the case. The additional substantive penalties imposed were, as indicated earlier in the report, a two-year probationary period and a reduction of one athletics grant in men's basketball.

The committee chose not to impose all of the presumptive penalties permitted under Bylaw 19.6.2.1 because of the actions taken by the university to institute appropriate corrective measures and to self-impose meaningful penalties upon its men's basketball program. The additional penalties imposed by the committee are as follows:

Public reprimand and censure.

Two years of probation from February 10, 2003, (the start date of the Pac-10 Conference's probationary period) and ending on February 9, 2005.

The number of total athletically related financial aid awards in men's basketball shall be reduced by one during either the 2003-04 or 2004-05 academic year, which limits the institution to 12 total grants for men's basketball under current rules for the given year.

During this period of probation, the institution shall:

Continue to develop and implement a comprehensive educational program on NCAA legislation, including seminars and testing, to instruct the coaches, the faculty athletics representative, all athletics department personnel and all university staff members with responsibility for the certification of student-athletes for admission, retention, financial aid or competition;  

Submit a preliminary report to the director of the NCAA Committees on Infractions By September 15 setting forth a schedule for establishing this compliance and educational program. In the preliminary report, the university shall specify which year it will impose the reduction of one men's basketball grant; and

File with the committee's director annual compliance reports indicating the progress made with this program by May 15 of each year during the probationary period. Emphasis should be placed on compliance with recruiting legislation, in particular, recruiting contacts. The reports must also include documentation of the university's compliance with the penalties both adopted and imposed by the committee, including documentation regarding assistant coach A's compliance with NCAA rules and his future status at the university, as required in the Pac-10 Conference's penalties. 

At the conclusion of the probationary period, the institution's president shall provide a letter to the committee affirming that the university's current athletics policies and practices conform to all requirements of NCAA regulations.

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As required by NCAA legislation for any institution involved in a major infractions case, the University of Washington shall be subject to the provisions of NCAA Bylaw 19.6.2.3, concerning repeat violators, for a five-year period beginning on the effective date of the penalties in this case, July 17, 2003.

The Committee on Infractions wishes to advise the institution that it should take every precaution to ensure that the terms of the penalties are observed. The committee will monitor the penalties during their effective periods, and any action contrary to the terms of any of the penalties or any additional violations shall be considered grounds for extending the institution's probationary period, as well as imposing more severe sanctions in this case.

NCAA COMMITTEE ON INFRACTIONS

Paul T. Dee

Jack H. Friedenthal

Alfred J.Lechner, Jr.

Andrea Myers

James Park Jr.

Thomas E. Yeager, chair

APPENDIX

CASE CHRONOLOGY.

2002

August 20 - A head men's basketball coach called the NCAA enforcement staff to report possible recruiting violations committed by the University of Washington's men's basketball program.

August 22 - The Pac-10 Conference received information regarding these alleged recruiting violations and contacted the NCAA enforcement staff.

October 2 - A self-report from the university was received by the NCAA enforcement staff.

October 4 - The preliminary inquiry letter was sent to the university.

December 9 - The Pac-10 Conference compliance and NCAA enforcement staff conducted a hearing regarding the case.

2003

February 24 - The institution and assistant coach A notified the enforcement staff that they wished to process the case through the summary disposition procedure.

March 26 - The summary disposition report was received.

April 12 - The summary disposition report was reviewed by the NCAA Division I Committee on Infractions. 

July 17 - Infractions Report No. 211 released.

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Related Information:

News Release

NCAA Committee on Infractions

NCAA Enforcement Process

NCAA Bylaws

University of Washington Major Infractions History

Windows Media Audio Recording of the News Teleconference (16 minutes)

Richard Linde (a.k.a., Malamute) can be reached at malamute@4malamute.com

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