Originally published by Christian Dennie.
The NCAA Committee on Infractions (“Committee” or “Panel” or “COI”) recently issued its findings and found that the University of Southern Mississippi (“USM” or “Institution”) committed violations of NCAA legislation. It centers on the head coach and members of his coaching staff engaging in a plan of academic fraud designed to assist two-year college prospective student-athletes in attaining admission to the institution and eligibility to compete. Within six weeks of becoming employed at the institution, the head coach directed one of his assistant coaches and two graduate assistant managers to complete online academic coursework for the prospects. Other members of the staff were aware of the fraud and the associate head coach helped facilitate it. The staff members eventually completed online coursework for seven prospects over two academic years. Once the staff members completed the work, either they or the prospects submitted it for credit. A majority of the prospects used the credits to attain immediate eligibility for competition upon their transfer to the institution. The head coach violated NCAA ethical conduct, cooperation and head coach responsibility legislation when he planned and directed the academic fraud. One of the institutional coaches and one of the graduate assistant managers involved in the academic fraud declined to submit to interviews or otherwise cooperate in the investigation.
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