December 15, 2010
The NCAA report confirms what I stated since the first day of the investigation. “That I have never intentionally or knowingly violated NCAA rules.” Now that the investigation is complete I am pleased that all can see whether violations were deemed major or secondary, there was no dishonesty or cheating and that no competitive advantage was sought. All of the violations were unintentional. My penalty of one year recruiting call restrictions indicates the NCAA realized that I was not the crux of the problem. Fortunately, the attempt to portray me as the sole responsible party has failed. Based on sanctions against the university its obvious that compliance is an ongoing problem. My evaluations and compliance record, including the ones done during the investigation speak volumes to my willingness to follow the rules. I do accept responsibility for not being well versed on some rules and interpretations, and the monitoring of my staff’s paperwork. I remind you that I was consistently applauded for my compliance record, in season ending reviews.
My reputation was called into question throughout this process. Now people will no longer have to speculate if I was intentionally breaking rules. I am responsible for making myself an easy target. My defensive behavior didn’t serve me well once the investigation started. While I was pleased to learn that I can coach in the NCAA immediately with a minor penalty, there is no happiness in seeing the program sanctioned. Due to the repeat offender status of the university, for its second lack of institutional control violation in a five-year span, the sanctions against the program are more harsh. The players’ achievements both on and off the field in recent years match the greatest era of ASU’s storied baseball history. Few programs in any sport can equal the rankings in the last six years.
The injustice of losing a top coaching position while the program was thriving has been a life and family changing experience. However, somehow I am grateful for having endured this and am certain it has taught me valuable lessons. Only the love for my children exceeds the passion for helping student-athletes develop in life. This process has educated me beyond what coaches typically understand. My hope is no other coach will have to endure this process based on the same kind of facts that precipitated this investigation.