UI Athletics Department reports NCAA violations

BY CODY GOODWIN | JUNE 18, 2013 5:00 AM

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The Iowa Athletics Department committed several NCAA and Big Ten violations, according to documents obtained by The Daily Iowan through a public-records request.

The documents outline 14 self-reported violations that occurred between Aug. 10, 2012, and May 15.

A majority of the infractions were minor mistakes — more than half of the violations involved coaches sending text messages/making phone calls to potential student-athletes; one instance includes a coach sending a text message to the parent of a potential recruit, mistaking the saved number for that of another coach.

Many of the errors were reported the day they initially happened, while some others turned up in reviews by the UI’s Compliance Office.

“The fact that Iowa has had only 14 self-reports in each of the past two years is evidence of the commitment to a culture of operating the intercollegiate athletics program within the rules required by the UI, the Big Ten, and/or the NCAA remains solid,” Iowa Director of Athletic Communications Steve Roe wrote in an email to the DI on behalf of the Athletics Department.

“We are proactive in our education of our coaches and staff. Our coaches and staff know the rules and do an excellent job of working within those rules, and, when they run afoul, they are quick to self-report.”

Roe also wrote that Athletics Director Gary Barta was unavailable and would not be quoted.

A few of the violations were more than a simple text message or phone call. Steve Pritzker, the former head coach of the Iowa women’s rowing team, mistakenly held practice on the water in August 2012, when the rowing team was out of season. The document said Pritzker wanted to engage the student-athletes and that he was unaware of the rule that prevented him from holding practice.

Assistant baseball coach Zach Dillon met with prospective student-athletes and their guests on Feb. 9. The meeting occurred at the Hamburg Inn No. 2, 214 N. Linn St., but Dillon failed to realize that the breakfast meeting took place off-campus during what’s labeled as a “quiet period” on the recruiting calendar. The prospects paid for their own meals and received complimentary admission to a basketball game.

The email from the Athletics Department also noted: “The number — 14 — isn’t startling. As a rule of thumb, in the Big Ten Conference, a compliance office that is operating effectively and proactively submits between 15 and 25 self-reports annually.”

These violations surfaced just two months after Iowa State had reportedly committed “major” recruiting violations and faced NCAA penalties. Iowa State’s violation total came to 1,484 impermissible phone calls over a three-year period across every sport. The NCAA is evaluating 79 of the phone calls for punishment, while most of the phone calls were deemed secondary violations.

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