By JOYCE LUPIANI
ATLANTA, GA (WGCL) — The NCAA’s Division I Committee on Infractions hearing panel has concluded that Georgia Tech women’s basketball program committed practice and coaching limit violations when it required players to participate in countable athletically-related activities that exceeded daily and weekly limits.
The panel also found that the women’s basketball staff did not provide student-athletes with required days off.
The infractions occurred from the 2016-17 academic year through February 2019.
According to a press release from the NCAA, the director of women’s basketball operations provided student-athletes with the practice schedule. However, a former women’s basketball assistant coach would notify student-athletes on the day before or day of practice that the schedule had changed, frequently requiring the team to report to practice early. Additionally, according to multiple student-athletes, the team was regularly required to practice an hour or more longer than scheduled. Other members of the athletics department staff confirmed that the team exceeded scheduled practice hours.
The director of women’s basketball operations submitted practice logs that tracked the countable activities for each student-athlete based on the original schedule.
Additionally, the reports indicated that each student-athlete practiced an identical amount of time. However, multiple student-athletes reported that additional practice time was required for some players often as punishment for being late. However, the student-athletes approved the inaccurate logs because they feared retaliation if they did not.
Also, student-athletes wee also required to participate in athletically-related activities on their scheduled days off.
These workouts violated NCAA rules because the student-athletes believed they were mandatory and shot-tracking technology was used during the workouts to identify who participated in the sessions.
The panel also discovered that the former head coach allowed graduate assistant to provide skills instruction to student-athletes during the extra workout sessions, regular practices and occasional competitions. This resulted in the program exceeding the maximum number of allowable countable coaches.
The panel also concluded that a former assistant coach violated ethical conduct rules when he failed to meet his obligation to participate in the investigation after he resigned.
The committee classified the case as Level II-standard for the school and the former women’s basketball head coach, and Level I-aggravated for the former women’s basketball assistant coach. The committee used the Division I membership-approved infractions penalty guidelines to prescribe the following measures:
Three years of probation to run consecutive to the current probationary period. A $5,000 fine plus 1% of the budget for the women’s basketball program. A one-year show-cause order for the former head coach, including a suspension from 15% of regular-season contests at any school that employs her in the first season following the show-cause order. A five-year show-cause order for the former assistant coach. A comprehensive compliance review of Georgia Tech’s athletics department by an outside agency with athletics compliance expertise. Georgia Tech has a total enrollment of approximately 32,000 students and sponsors 9 men’s and 8 women’s sports.
This is the institutions 6th Level I or Level II infractions case. Georgia Tech had prior major infractions cases in 2019 (men’s basketball); 2014 (football and men’s and women’s basketball); 2011 (football and men’s basketball); 2005 (football, men’s and women’s cross country, men’s and women’s indoor and outdoor track, men’s and women’s swimming); and 1989 (football).
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