Sept. 4, 2014
The NCAA Committee on Infractions today announced that it has accepted penalties and corrective measures proposed by the Georgia Institute of Technology for recruiting violations in 2011 and 2012. The decision follows a two-year investigation by the Institute and the NCAA into impermissible telephone calls and text messages initiated by the football and men’s and women’s basketball programs to prospective student-athletes.
Georgia Tech discovered the violations during an internal investigation. The Institute then collaborated with the NCAA to develop a summary disposition report that detailed the infractions, self-imposed penalties, and Georgia Tech’s new measures to ensure full compliance in the future. The Committee accepted the report and imposed two additional years of probation and standard administrative penalties. This extends the Institute’s current probationary period with the NCAA to June 13, 2017.
“Georgia Tech is committed to NCAA rules compliance and has established a culture and philosophy of embracing compliance among its coaches, administrators and student-athletes,” said Director of Athletics Mike Bobinski. “Integrity and ethics are essential pillars of the Institute and the athletics program. While we regret that these violations occurred, we are pleased that the NCAA has recognized our efforts to monitor our program and the great lengths the Athletic Association has taken to improve our compliance systems since the violations in this case.”
Following a resolution with the NCAA of telephone violations in September 2010, Georgia Tech committed to additional monitoring measures. In January 2012, while reviewing the telephone records of the football coaching staff, the Institute discovered the violations addressed in the report. An ensuing self-investigation uncovered additional text and telephone call violations by men’s and women’s basketball coaches in 2011 and 2012.
The three-sport investigation revealed a total of 256 improper text messages and 461 impermissible calls. Of the impermissible texts, nearly 80 percent were sent by a single assistant football coach, who resigned from the Institute shortly after the communications were discovered. Many of the telephone violations were technical in nature and resulted from a failure to properly document calls.
Georgia Tech then self-imposed penalties for each program for the 2012-13 seasons. They included recruiting restrictions, suspending three men’s basketball assistant coaches for one conference game and suspending two women’s assistant coaches for three conference games (one of the women’s coaches resigned prior to the season).
As part of the internal investigation, Georgia Tech also conducted spot checks of telephone records of other sports programs. They revealed a small number of lower-level violations, all of which were resolved and resulted in no further penalties from the NCAA.
In addition to the penalties, the Institute took numerous corrective measures. They included the expansion of its compliance staff from the previous level of two individuals to four permanent staff members and an additional paid intern.
“We have also implemented a more robust monitoring system for calls and texts and established a more frequent and meaningful rules education program for all sports,” said Bobinski. “Georgia Tech is one of the nation’s premier academic and research institutions. Athletics plays a key role on our campus and throughout the entire Yellow Jacket community. Our coaches, staff and student-athletes consistently strive to exhibit the same ideals in recruiting and competition as we do in the Institute’s academic endeavors.”