NCAA puts Henderson State on probation
ARKADELPHIA, Ark. (AP) — The NCAA has placed Henderson State on two years of probation and fined the school $2,500 for rules violations by the women’s basketball program, including a coach offering a loan to a prospective athlete, exceeding phone contact limits and holding impermissible tryouts and practices.
The penalties, which were released Tuesday, capped a three-year investigation and included show-cause orders for former head coaches Josh Matthews and Chris Oestreich. Neither was named in the NCAA’s report, but Henderson State confirmed their involvement.
Both coaches left the Division II school for jobs at the high school level and will be required to undergo a separate review on why they should be allowed to resume coaching in college, if they choose to return. Matthew’s show-cause order is for one year, Oestreich’s is for two.
Henderson State self-imposed several penalties in 2012 after an inquiry into possible violations. Those included a loss of nearly half the women’s basketball program’s 10 scholarships for the 2013-14 academic year and limiting recruiting activities on and off campus.
The NCAA followed many of the self-imposed penalties in Tuesday’s report, though it did add the fine and show-cause orders — as well as requiring several athletic department officials to attend a rules seminar.
The school’s self-imposed probationary period ended May 1, but the NCAA also extended that through July 2016.
Violations within the women’s basketball program first came to the NCAA’s attention via a newspaper article in 2011.
Tuesday’s report said 17 prospects participated in impermissible tryouts between 2009 and 2012, and that coaches sent text messages to prospects — another violation. Also, two Henderson State players drove a prospect from her junior college to campus for an official visit in 2011.
The report also said coaches supervised offseason workouts in the summer of 2012, and that Oestreich paid for meals while on recruiting visits with prospects.
Henderson State is a member of the Great American Conference.