TMC Student-Athletes Free to Compete in Future Postseason Play
The National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division III Committee on Infractions (COI) November 2016 released a final report on an investigation into the Thomas More College’s oversite of its women’s basketball program.
The COI found that Thomas More failed to monitor its women’s basketball program when it did not identify and report a women’s basketball student-athlete living impermissibly with a former assistant women’s basketball coach, according to a decision issued by the Division III Committee on Infractions. The head women’s basketball coach also failed to fulfill his head coaching responsibilities when he did not monitor the former assistant coach and did not promote an atmosphere for compliance in his program.
Penalties in the case include two years of probation requiring increased oversight and annual compliance reports, but there are no limits on post-season competition for current and future student-athletes. Also included is a vacation of all 33 of the College’s women’s basketball wins during the 2014-15 season, including the National Championship and Presidents’ Athletic Conference (PAC) Championships and a self-imposed fine.
Since Thomas More began the investigation process, the College had taken a number of corrective and preventative measures including:
• Strengthening institutional oversight of NCAA compliance
• Requiring student-athletes to fill out vehicle and housing registration forms to verify that college employees and boosters aren’t providing extra benefits.
• Providing and requiring ongoing employee education on NCAA regulations
Going forward, Thomas More will position itself as a leader in NCAA Compliance, and the College will lobby for improved clarity in NCAA bylaws and interpretations as well as earlier pro-active communication between the NCAA enforcement staff and member institutions.
Since its founding in 1921, Thomas More College has graduated over 13,000 alumni, many of whom are student-athletes, who exemplify the professional excellence, ethical leadership, and spiritual integrity that are the outcomes of a Thomas More education. As the College looks forward to its 100th anniversary celebration, it will continue to uphold these values in the classroom, on the court and field of athletics competition, and in the community.