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Publish date: Aug 6, 2013

Former University of California, San Diego
women’s rowing coaches acted unethically

The University of California, San Diego failed to monitor its women’s rowing program and two of the coaches acted unethically, according to findings by the NCAA Division II Committee on Infractions. The former head women’s rowing coach and a former assistant women’s rowing coach knowingly allowed ineligible student-athletes to participate and the former head coach provided a prescription drug to student-athletes when she was not licensed to do so.

Penalties, including those self-imposed by the university, include one year of probation, vacation of contests in which student-athletes competed while ineligible and a fine. The former head coach received a three-year show cause order and the former assistant coach received a one-year show cause order.

At various times during the 2010-11 and 2011-12 academic years, five women’s rowing student-athletes either practiced, competed or traveled with the team while ineligible. At the direction of the former head coach, three of the ineligible student-athletes competed using the names of other eligible student-athletes. The former assistant coach was aware of, and allowed, the participation of one of the ineligible student-athletes. Two of the ineligible student-athletes did not compete, but did travel with the team. In some instances, the ineligible student-athletes were directed to sign for meals under the names of eligible student-athletes or other individuals. The former head coach allowed one student-athlete to practice while ineligible, listing her by her inverted initials in the practice lineups. The former head coach denied allowing student-athletes to compete using false names or directing them to use false names to sign for meals; however, the student-athletes confirmed the committee’s findings in their interviews with enforcement staff.

On at least 24 occasions, the former head coach provided a prescription anti-inflammatory drug to six student-athletes. On one occasion, the former head coach told a student-athlete that she could obtain the drug cheaply if the student-athlete was interested in purchasing her own supply. The former head coach directed one student-athlete to not tell anyone about the provision of the drug.  The committee noted that the provision of prescription drugs to student-athletes without medical supervision is potentially detrimental to the health and wellbeing of student-athletes.

The former assistant coach acted unethically when she allowed a student-athlete to participate while ineligible. Additionally, the former assistant coach was untruthful in her interview with enforcement staff when she denied that student-athletes approached her with concerns about other student-athletes competing while ineligible. The committee noted that the former assistant coach felt obligated to follow the former head coach’s directions to allow a student-athlete to compete while ineligible; however, every coach has an obligation to comply with the rules and be truthful when questioned.

Because the former head coach provided the prescription drug to student-athletes and took actions designed to hide the violations she was committing, including directing student-athletes to misrepresent themselves on travel-related documents, the coach failed to promote an atmosphere for compliance and acted unethically. The committee also noted the former head coach acted unethically when she was untruthful during interviews with the enforcement staff and did not fully cooperate with the investigative process.

The university failed to monitor its women’s rowing program when it did not review travel documents to ensure that only eligible student-athletes traveled to events and did not review student-athlete surveys that identified the violations.

Penalties, including those imposed by the university, are:

The members of the Division II Committee on Infractions who reviewed this case include Douglas Blais, faculty athletics representative, Southern New Hampshire University; Larry Blumberg, professor emeritus of mathematics and statistics at Washburn University of Topeka; Jean Paul Bradshaw II, attorney; Julie Rochester, chair and faculty athletics representative and associate professor, Northern Michigan University; Carey Snyder, associate director of athletics, East Stroudsburg University of Pennsylvania; Harry O. Stinson III, assistant athletics director of compliance, Kentucky State University; and Jane Teixeira, assistant commissioner of compliance, Pacific West Conference. 

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