NCAA releases report on Ohio State women’s basketball violations

The NCAA announced violations in three Ohio State athletic programs including women’s basketball. According to the organization, a “former women’s basketball associate head coach violated ethical conduct rules when they did not meet their obligation to fully cooperate with an investigation.” The program underwent a Title IX investigation in June 2019 which led to an Ohio State probe and the uncovering of NCAA violations.

The former employee the NCAA is referring to is Patrick Klein who resigned in August 2019 after being on administrative leave. Multiple violations by Klein led to a self-imposed postseason of the program by Ohio State. Klein refused to participate in interviews with the NCAA enforcement staff. His known inappropriate actions and personal relationships with students began in 2016, five years after he was hired as an associate head coach. In a previous stint with the institution, he served as a graduate assistant.

NCAA penalties for the violations included four years probation (April 19, 2022, through April 18, 2026); a $5,000 fine; scholarship reductions; recruiting restrictions; and “vacation of all fencing and women’s basketball records in which student-athletes competed while ineligible.” In addition, for Klein specifically, a 10-year show-cause order was imposed:

“During that period, any NCAA member school employing him must restrict him from any athletically related duties unless it shows cause why the restrictions should not apply.”

For women’s basketball, the team will vacate 52 wins (10 in 2016-17; 28 in 2017-18; 14 in 2018-19), and relinquish the 2018 conference tournament championship as well as the 2017 and 2018 Big Ten regular-season title.

The other programs that committed violations are fencing and women’s golf. An interesting footnote in the report: “Over the past five years, Ohio State has self-reported 177 Level III violations, an average of 35 violations per year.”

Below is the full text of the NCAA’s infractions report press release regarding women’s basketball.

Violations in the women’s basketball program were first uncovered as part of a Title IX investigation into the behavior of the former associate head coach in women’s basketball. Specifically, the associate head coach initiated contact with student-athletes with the goal of forming personal relationships that exceeded coaching/student-athlete relationships.

As part of his efforts to establish personal relationships with student-athletes, the associate head coach provided them with impermissible benefits, including paying for manicures, loaning money for rental cars, and purchasing textbooks for a student-athlete who was not on scholarship.

Text messages uncovered during that investigation also revealed that over the course of two years, the associate head coach asked six current or former student-athletes to assist in the recruitment of six prospects. Because those student-athletes did not have preexisting relationships with the prospects and the communication did not occur during the course of an official visit, those contacts violated NCAA recruiting rules. The associate head coach also enlisted the help of a non-scholastic basketball coach to communicate with three prospects before Sept. 1 of their junior years of high school, in violation of early recruiting rules.

The associate head coach also violated recruiting rules when he paid $100 for bottle service for two prospects at a club, which is an impermissible inducement.

Although the associate head coach participated in an initial interview with Ohio State and NCAA enforcement staff, he refused the enforcement staff’s request for a second interview. As a result, he violated unethical conduct rules because he did not meet his obligation to fully participate in an NCAA investigation. The associate head coach did not respond to the notice of allegations and did not participate in the infractions hearing.

Unrelated to the associate head coach’s conduct but as a result of the investigation into the program, the compliance department learned that the program had also violated countable athletically related activity rules because coaches had been present for pre-practice shootarounds but did not record those shootarounds as countable. These shootarounds resulted in approximately six hours of CARA overages over the course of two academic years.

Members of the NCAA infractions panel who reviewed this case: Carol Cartwright, president emerita of Bowling Green and Kent State; Rich Ensor, commissioner of the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference; Thomas Hill, senior vice president emeritus at Iowa State; Jason Leonard, executive director of athletics compliance at Oklahoma; Joe Novak, former football head coach at Northern Illinois; Dave Roberts, chief hearing officer for the panel and special advisor to Southern California; and Mary Schutten, former executive vice president and provost at Central Michigan.

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