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Georgetown facing NCAA Probation

3504781 The Georgetown Athletic Department was placed on three years probation after an internal investigation discovered irregularities within the baseball program. The investigation focused on how 26 Georgetown student-athletes were members of a Work-Study program from the 2000-2001 to the 2006-2007 school years. Each of the student-athletes played for the baseball program while also working for the team doing various tasks, from laundry to trash pick-up or field preparations. The players were told by an assistant coach to fill out their time cards for blocks of time instead of the actual hours they worked. Of course, some of the time which the players were compensated for was never actually worked.

The school uncovered the violations on June 22, 2007 when they were strengthening their sport-by-sport management process. Georgetown began investigating the issue, eventually concluding that the allegations were indeed true. They investigated the matter internally until March 2008, resulting in the suspension of four members of the baseball team, Mike Gaggioli, Matt Iannetta, Matt Harrigan, and Matt Maranges, at the beginning of the 2008 season. (PRESS RELEASE). The NCAA was notified about the investigation in August of 2007, and Georgetown sent their self report to the NCAA on April 29th, 2008. On May 12, 2008, the NCAA Enforcement staff beginning their own analysis of the situation by conducting on-campus interviews. The NCAA Enforcement Staff conducted additional interviews on July 1, 2008, concluding on November 14, 2008 with the NCAA, Georgetown, and GU Head Coach Pete Wilk agreeing to process the case through summary disposition. The NCAA announced the sanctions today.

The University imposed on itself a comprehensive set of corrective actions and penalties, designed to help ensure that this issue will not recur.

The corrective actions include:
1. Effective with the 2007-08 academic year, no student-athlete may accept a workstudy position with the team for which he or she competes.

2. For the baseball program, the tasks previously performed by baseball federal work-study at the off campus baseball field are now completed by professional maintenance staff.

3. Time sheets for student-athlete employment, federal work-study or otherwise were modified to include a signatory approval by the compliance office.

4. The Athletics Director and/or the baseball sports supervisor will continue to meet regularly (at least monthly) with the head baseball coach regarding his management of the overall baseball program and the execution of his duties as head baseball coach.

5. The Compliance Office conducted additional education sessions with coaches, staff and student-athletes regarding employment and federal work-study.

6. Beginning in the spring of 2009, anyone in athletics who directly supervises work-study students or student-athletes will be required to attend in-person
training provided by the Office of Student Employment.

7. The rules education provided to coaches, staff and student-athletes in all sports will include information specific to employment of student-athletes, including information regarding the new policies and procedures. Such information will be included in the student-athlete handbook and the Athletics Compliance Office’s policies and procedures handbook for coaches and staff. In addition, educational information related to student-athlete employment will be sent to representatives of athletics interests and local businesses.

8. At the time of discovery none of the assistant coaches who supervised baseball student employees were employed by University.

9. The University will continue to enhance its athletics compliance monitoring systems proactively. In the last few years, such proactive measures have
a. bolstering the Athletics Compliance Office by adding a full-time assistant director of compliance in fall 2006 and a director of compliance in spring 2008;
b. creating positions in the Office of the Registrar and the Office of Student Financial Services with dedicated athletics compliance responsibilities;
c. forming a permanent subcommittee of the Compliance Working Group (part of the Institutional Compliance and Ethics Program overseen by the
University’s Office of Compliance and Ethics) dedicated to athletics compliance;
d. growing a proactive rules education program for coaches, student-athletes, staff, and athletics boosters;
e. fostering a service-oriented Athletics Compliance Office that provides support to coaches, student-athletes, staff and the University community;
f. updating an Athletics Compliance Office policies & procedures handbook for coaches.

The University’s self-imposed penalties include:
a. The institution placed the baseball program on probation for two years.
b. The baseball program did not receive a scheduled increase of 3.0 athletics grants-in-aid for the 2007-08 and 2008-09 academic years, which, had it
been implemented by the department, would have raised the total available scholarships from 5.0 to 8.0 each year.
c. The institution has reprimanded the head baseball coach, and taken other appropriate employment action.
d. The head baseball coach was required to attend a 2008 NCAA Regional Rules Seminar. The seminar selected was also attended by a member of the institution’s Athletics Compliance Office.

I find these violations borderline disgusting, as an assistant coach was telling his players to basically forge their timecards and no one would catch them. We are talking about seven years of this going on without anyone catching the mistake. I had a chance to listen to Interim Athletic Director Daniel R. Porterfield, Ph.D., speak about this incident, and he stated on multiple occasions that Georgetown baseball coach Pete Wilk was not aware of the situation and would still have his job this spring. The assistant coach that was in charge of this scheme is no longer a member of the coaching staff at Georgetown, and Mr. Porterfield was not aware of which assistant coach was in charge of the program during his conference call.

President of Georgetown John J. DeGioia’s Letter to the Community

Summary of Self Report to NCAA (PDF)

Special thanks to William Knox for contributing to the report

  • William Knox

    No Big East tournament appearances during that time? If you’re gonna risk cheating, at least do it to win.

    It also sounds very familiar to the OU football situation with Rhett Bomar, although OU was smart enough to outsource their dirty work.

  • I was on the conference call today with Daniel Porterfield where he was asked about whether they would have to forfeit victories and he seemed like it wasn’t a big deal to do that.

    His reasoning behind it is the fact that the team had a record of 135-246 overall record while going 46-136 in the Big East conference during this time period.

    Also, I love how the university refused to give the program the increase in three scholarships between the 2008 and 2009 seasons.

  • Blowhard Muir

    They didn’t even have scholarships in the first place, so the kids had to do work study to pay for their tuition. And it sounds like the kids were doing work, just not the full amount. What a rinky dink operation- they don’t deserve to be in the Big East.

  • William,

    I think this situation is actually worse then the OU football case as the Georgetown assistant coach was teaching his student-athletes how to fudge the numbers.

  • Marcus

    This is quite an atrocious article. It sickens me that a coach could sink to such lows as to ask players to forge their timecards. I can’t believe they actually thought they would get away with it. This sort of thing should not be tolerated in professional sports, yet it continues to take the spotlight in our sports newscasts. The professionals should be acting as role models, not acting as examples of what NOT to be.

  • Mary Smith

    The whole college athlete situation sickens me. Are we supposed to believe that Georgetown is the only school doing this. The colleges already tolerate admitting students who do not belong there academically while rejecting more qualified students. I know of an athlete with mediocre grades with no honors or AP classes accepted to Georgetown. All he had to do was break 1000 on his SATs!!!! While students with more rigorous courses, better grades and test scores were rejected!!! And we wonder why we are lagging the rest of the civilized world academically.

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