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Friday, August 14, 2020

Football

Houston must vacate wins, pay fine after being hit with NCAA violations


Houston's football team must vacate any wins in which the ineligible player competed in after the NCAA found academic misconduct violations within the program. | File photo

Houston’s football team must vacate any wins in which the ineligible player competed in after the NCAA found academic misconduct violations within the program. | File photo

The NCAA Infractions Committee decided in a report released Wednesday that Houston committed Level II-Mitigated violations stemming from incidents on the football and volleyball teams.

Here is a breakdown of the violations from the programs, the penalties and what the committee and athletics director Chris Pezman had to say about them:

Football – Academic

A football team tutor engaged in “academic misconduct” after he wrote four papers for two football student-athletes for cash payments totaling $205 in 2018, according to the report.

Athletics was made aware of the tutor’s conduct in September 2018, the report said, after he approached a graduate student teaching assistant about writing papers for student-athletes.

The University’s investigation found, according to the committee, the tutor’s actions were limited to the two student-athletes and violated its academic misconduct policy.

As a result, one player competed while ineligible, meaning, pursuant to NCAA bylaws, “Houston shall vacate all regular season and conference tournament wins, records and participation in which the ineligible student-athlete competed from the time he became ineligible through the time he was reinstated as eligible for competition.”

Three games, according to a Houston Chronicle report, will be vacated, leaving Houston’s 2018 record officially at 5-5, while former head coach Major Applewhite’s record at UH dropped to 11-12.

UH also self-imposed a $5,000 fine, while the committee handed down a one-year probation and to the tutor an eight-year show-cause order in which any NCAA member school employing him must restrict him from any athletically related duties.

Volleyball – Countable athletically related activity

Over the course of almost three years, according to the decision, the volleyball team exceeded the countable athletically related activity limit by approximately 39 hours.

Then-head coach Kaddie Platt required student-athletes attend two “impermissible out-of-season CARA” volleyball camps in the summer of 2016 though fall 2018.

Platt, the committee said, “agreed that her direct involvement in the CARA violations demonstrated that she failed to promote an atmosphere of compliance and monitor her direct and indirect reports.”

She also had players engage in “pre-practice” over several weeks over the three seasons that should have been voluntary activity but counted as countable athletically related activity because Platt required it.

The committee cited in part “fear of retaliation from the head coach” as to why the violations went unreported by student-athletes, leaving the panel “troubled.”

“Inherent in promoting an atmosphere of compliance,” the committee said in its decision, “is setting the proper tone throughout the program — from the head coach down.

“A culture of secrecy and intimidation fails to meet the membership’s expectation of head coaches, the report said. “Such actions threaten the core values of the Association and are detrimental to the student-athlete experience.”

As penalty, the NCAA prescribed a reduction in permissible countable athletically related activity by two hours in the fall 2019 championship segment to the volleyball team.

Platt, replaced by David Rehr as the program’s head coach last season, was ordered a two-year show-cause in which she must be suspended for at least 30 percent of contests in her first season  with any NCAA member school that hires her.

Despite the violations and subsequent penalties, the NCAA praised the University for its efforts in the cases, saying “Houston discovered and reported all violations.”

“As the report states, the violations occurred while the University of Houston exercised institutional control and monitored its athletics programs,” Pezman said in a UH athletics news release. “It also indicates that UH accepted the responsibility of the violations and self-imposed significant measures and penalties as corrective action.

“UH also worked diligently to provide the NCAA enforcement staff with various resources and assistance to make sure this matter was brought to a resolution as quickly as possible.”

The full report is available below:

Dec2019D1INF_UHoustonPublicInfDecision

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