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The Scoop

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NCAA: Ball State coach penalties upheld

Statement issued Wednesday morning by the NCAA on the Kathy Bull case:

INDIANAPOLIS – The NCAA Division I Infractions Appeals Committee has upheld findings of violations and penalties for the former head women’s tennis coach at Ball State University. The case centered on violations of NCAA rules governing playing and practice seasons, tryouts, recruiting inducements and unethical conduct by the former head coach.

The former head women’s tennis coach appealed each of the findings of violations, including the unethical conduct finding. She also appealed the three-year show-cause penalty, which outlined how athletics duties must be limited at her present or future employing institutions. These limitations are further detailed in the public report.

In her appeal, the former head coach asserted that she was denied a fair hearing; the violations were secondary rather than major; she was not provided sufficient information in the notice of allegations; and the findings are contrary to the evidence presented. She also appealed the show-cause order penalty on the grounds that it should be considered excessive such that it constitutes an abuse of discretion by the NCAA Division I Committee on Infractions.

In affirming the findings of violations and penalties, the Infractions Appeals Committee stated in its report that it found no basis to conclude the former head coach was denied a fair hearing and that the record supports the determination that the violations were major, not secondary. Further, after an extensive review of case precedent, the appeals committee stated that the findings of violations in this case supported the show-cause penalty.

In considering the former head coach’s appeal, the Infractions Appeals Committee reviewed the notice of appeal; the transcript of the university’s Committee on Infractions’ hearing; and the submissions by the former head coach and the Committee on Infractions.

The Infractions Appeals Committee may overturn a determination of fact or finding of violation if the Committee on Infractions’ finding is contrary to the evidence presented; the facts found by the committee do not constitute a violation of NCAA rules; or a procedural error affected the reliability of information that was used to support the findings. A penalty by the Committee on Infractions may be set aside on appeal if the penalty is considered excessive such that it is an abuse of discretion.

The members of the Infractions Appeals Committee who heard this case were: Christopher L. Griffin, Foley & Lardner LLP, chair; Jack Friedenthal, law professor at George Washington University; William Hoye, executive vice president for administration, planning and legal affairs at the Institute for the International Education of Students; Patti Ohlendorf, vice president for legal affairs at University of Texas at Austin; and David Williams, vice chancellor and general counsel at Vanderbilt University.

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