NCAA accepts Baylor’s self-imposed penalties on basketball programs, statements from Kim Mulkey and Brittney Griner

The NCAA’s letter to Baylor || NCAA public report on the investigation

Baylor released a statement on an NCAA investigation that began in 2008 into impermissible text messages and phone calls made by women’s and men’s basketball coaches to recruits and contact with parents. The organization accepted the school’s self-imposed sanctions.

Penalties include three years of probation, recruiting restrictions and scholarship reductions. Baylor women’s basketball head coach Kim Mulkey received off-campus and telephone recruiting restrictions. A summary of the restrictions:

  • Public reprimand and censure.
  • Three years of probation from April 11, 2012, through April 10, 2015.
  • Reduction of two scholarships (from 15 to 13) for the 2011-12 academic year.
  • Mulkey will not participate in off-campus recruiting for the full summer recruiting period (July 1 – 31, 2012).
  • An assistant women’s basketball coach, Damion McKinney, will not place any recruiting calls during a four-month period from January through April, 2012.

“I am glad that the NCAA staff and the Committee on Infractions both agreed that this matter could be concluded without a hearing,” said Kim Mulkey.

She continued:

I believe strongly in following NCAA rules and will always try to do so in the future. I do nothing without permission from our Compliance Office and will continue to ask questions to assure that things are done right. Any compliance-related mistakes, even those that are secondary, are disappointing. The majority of mistakes in this matter were errors in sending text messages and failure to accurately document our phone calls. Regardless, we will remain diligent in our efforts to avoid any further mistakes.

The other matters were related to my daughter’s participation in summer basketball. While I am and will always be a mother first, I do recognize that there has to be a balance between my role as a mother of a prospect and my role as a head coach. I have always tried to strike that balance and appreciate the opportunity to demonstrate to the NCAA staff such balancing efforts dating back to when Makenzie was in the seventh grade. I am pleased that my efforts to find the appropriate balance between a mother and a coach were recognized.

Baylor junior center Brittney Griner’s statement

I am very excited to be a part of the women’s basketball program at Baylor University and for all the accomplishments that the team has achieved since I enrolled. I have made it clear to the NCAA staff and everyone else that I chose to commit to Baylor University early-on in the recruiting process because I believed it would be the best fit for me. I definitely made the right choice and if I had to do it over again, I would make the same decision.

Baylor’s statement

The NCAA Division I Committee on Infractions has accepted Baylor University’s self-imposed penalties in a case that focused mainly on impermissible recruiting text messages and telephone calls by the institution’s basketball coaches, both parties announced today. Contrary to published speculation generated because of Monday’s premature release of information, Baylor will not face additional penalties other than those it self-imposed on its programs.

Although this case took more than three years to complete, it was resolved without a hearing. NCAA Enforcement Procedures allow a summary disposition process, a cooperative effort where all involved parties (the institution, involved individuals and NCAA Enforcement staff) agree to all facts and submit a written report to the Committee on Infractions.

After reviewing the matter through the written report and agreeing with the institution’s and involved individuals’ self-imposed penalties, the Committee on Infractions accepted the report’s findings and Baylor’s self-imposed penalties. There is no appeal and the case is completed.

A letter to Baylor President Ken Starr from Melissa Conboy, acting chair of the NCAA Division I Committee on Infractions and Senior Deputy Director of Athletics at the University of Notre Dame, cited “the institution’s cooperation and patience in completing this case.”

Conboy’s letter also stated, “The committee determined that a complete and thorough investigation had taken place and concurred with those findings. The committee also adopted the institution’s self-imposed penalties, adding only standard, administrative penalties imposed in all infractions cases.”

“We are grateful that this matter has been resolved, and that the NCAA Committee on Infractions has agreed to the facts of this case as reported in the joint summary disposition,” said Baylor University President Ken Starr. “While mistakes sometimes happen, it is important that we acknowledge our errors and respond to them in a manner that is open and honest, and that we strictly adhere to NCAA rules.”

Specifically, the violations were deemed to be major in nature because the institution’s coaches failed to document a number of telephone calls where no contact was made with the prospect. The frequency of this record-keeping error and the volume of text messages sent to prospective student-athletes and family members also contributed.

During the course of the investigation, the institution and the NCAA enforcement staff reviewed nearly 900,000 phone and text message records, and determined that 738 text messages and 528 phone calls were deemed impermissible.

“We are pleased that the Committee has agreed with the University’s self-imposed sanctions to resolve this matter,” said Baylor’s Director of Athletics Ian McCaw.

“The University has made significant investments in compliance staffing and infrastructure both prior to and since the investigation began. Moreover, we have outstanding coaches who are committed to operating their programs with integrity.”

Baylor’s men’s and women’s basketball programs were the primary focus of the investigation. In women’s basketball, there were impermissible telephone and text messages, and additional minor violations that, standing alone, likely would be considered secondary violations. However, collectively the violations were deemed to be major.

While there was no discovery by either party of extra benefits being provided to any current, past or prospective student-athletes the men’s basketball portion of this investigation also focused on impermissible telephone and text messages. However, it was complicated by the unethical conduct findings against a former assistant men’s basketball coach. These additional findings resulted in a charge of failure to monitor for the head men’s basketball coach.

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