Three Ohio State programs on probation for NCAA violations

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The Division I Violations Committee revealed Tuesday afternoon that Ohio State’s fencing, women’s golf and women’s basketball programs committed multiple NCAA violations “during several years”.

As punishment, all three programs were played with four years of probation and the university was fined $5,000 plus 3% of the fencing program budget and 1% of the women’s golf budgets and women’s basketball.

The Athletic Department also imposed several penalties on itself, including postseason bans for all three programs and reduced purses for the 2020-21 season, as well as vacated wins in which ineligible athletes participated.

The report – which involves the former fencing head coach Vladimir Nazlymovformer women’s golf coach Therese Hession and former Associate Women’s Basketball Head Coach patrick klein – noted that they breached the Head Coach Liability Rules and/or the Rules of Ethical Conduct by not cooperating fully with the investigation.

The panel held a hearing to exempt the school’s compliance monitoring program, but ultimately determined that there was no monitoring default violation.

“The panel recognizes that the institution devotes significant resources to its compliance program which, in many respects, exceed those of other Division I institutions,” the panel said in a statement. “To be clear, the dedication of resources alone does not meet the minimum compliance requirements…but here, the resources combined with the compliance program that the State of Ohio had in place outweighs the identified deficiencies. by the panel.”

A brief summary of the breaches can be found below, while the full report can be found here.

Fencing

  • Nazlymov arranged, provided, or ordered other coaches to pay over $6,000 in recruiting benefits to three prospects, mostly in the form of free access to the training facility.
  • Two of those prospects received free meals and private lessons from Nazlymov. This allowed the coaching staff to observe the prospects, which is considered an ineligible try.
  • Nazlymov provided or ordered coaches to provide 18 student-athletes more than $8,000 in ineligible benefits in the form of free access to his local sports club. These 18 student-athletes then competed despite being ineligible.
  • An assistant coach arranged flights to the United States, transportation and accommodation for two hopefuls to attend camp and compete in the United States National Fencing Championships. He also inadmissibly owned and operated a fencing sports club in Italy while employed by the State of Ohio.
  • The program violated accounting coach rules when Nazlymov invited an international coach to view the program. The consultant led drills, gave one-on-one lessons, and provided verbal instruction during practices and practice sessions.

female golf

  • Hession would frequently complete workouts 15–30 minutes over the daily four-hour limit on weeks without qualifying rounds and exceed the weekly 20-hour limits during weeks with qualifying rounds. This
  • She did not ensure the accuracy of individual student-athlete activity logs and did not record actual practice times, instead estimating practice hours for the entire team.
  • Student-athletes are expressing concern about how late practices have gone, causing them to be delayed in class, tutoring sessions or other obligations.

women’s basketball

  • Klein initiated contacts with student-athletes with the goal of building personal relationships that went beyond a sparring relationship.
  • He offered them impermissible benefits, including payment for manicures, loans for rental cars and the purchase of textbooks for a student-athlete who was not on a scholarship.
  • Klein asked six current or former student-athletes to help recruit six prospects. Because they had no pre-existing relationship and the communication did not occur during an official visit, it was a violation of the NCAA.
  • He paid $100 for bottle service for two prospects at a club and contacted three prospects before Sept. 1 of their junior years in high school, both of which are NCAA violations.
  • Additionally, the investigation determined that the program violated accounting activity rules because coaches were present for pre-practice shooting sessions but did not record those hours.

Some of the wins and championships that will be vacated include the 2017 and 2018 Big Ten Women’s Basketball Regular Season Championships, the 2018 Big Ten Tournament Championship, the 2017 and 2018 NCAA Tournament appearances, the 2019 NIT appearance and 52 wins.

The fencing program, meanwhile, vacated its 2016, 2017 and 2018 Midwest Fencing Conference titles, 2016 and 2017 NCAA second-place finishers and 2018 NCAA third-place finisher.

“I am proud of our university, our athletics department and the athletic programs involved in our handling of this matter,” the athletic director said. Gene Smith said in a statement. “We are committed to our proactive, pre-existing system of rules education and compliance methods.

“A comprehensive compliance program ensures buy-in and institutional control over the athletics department and reinforces the university’s mission. We are pleased that this matter is now behind us and we remain focused on our student-athletes.”

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Ohio State’s four-year probation will end on April 18, 2026.

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