The NCAA placed Temple Athletics on two-year probation Thursday in response to major and secondary violations most notably involving allegations of fraud in the men’s tennis program.
The men’s tennis program also received a one-year ban from postseason competition, which includes participating in the Atlantic Ten Conference tournament. All other athletic programs will remain eligible for postseason competition.
The major violations were the first in Temple Athletics’ history.
“Athletic competition is an integral part of higher education and Temple is proud of the opportunities we offer through 24 varsity sports,” university president Ann Weaver Hart said in a statement Thursday. “We also are proud of our long-standing reputation for playing within the rules and developing our student-athletes into well-rounded, educated and responsible adults.
“Adhering to NCAA rules is essential. Everyone involved in Temple Athletics will be vigilant in maintaining compliance in the future and in holding our athletics program to the highest standards.”
Temple self-reported two incidents leading to NCAA penalties.
During the 2004-05 season former men’s tennis coach Bill Hoehne knowingly allowed an ineligible student-athlete to compete in intercollegiate events, the NCAA reported.
Hoehne instructed the student-athlete to compete under the name of an eligible student-athlete who had left the team, the NCAA said.
The NCAA also said Hoehne took several other measures to hide his scheme.
The former coach “mumbled” the name of the ineligible student-athlete during pre-match introductions or requested that such ceremonies be skipped altogether.
Hoehne used the student-athlete’s assumed name when providing updates to the appropriate Sports Information Director. Hoehne also asked the student-athlete to stay in his dorm while the rest of the team met with Director of Athletics Bill Bradshaw prior to the team’s departure for a tournament.
The Division I Infractions Committee stated in its report that it was “struck by the lengths the former head coach went to conceal the fact that he was allowing an ineligible student-athlete to compete fraudulently.”
Upon being notified of Hoehne’s actions, the athletics department fired the coach and reported the incident to the NCAA.
“Once we learned about the fraud that had been perpetrated by our former men’s tennis coach, we immediately terminated him and self-reported the incident to the NCAA,” Bradshaw said in a statement Friday. “We pride ourselves in our history of complying with all NCAA rules and regulations, and fortunately Temple boasts one of the strongest compliance records in NCAA Division I-A.
“Not only did this coach defraud the NCAA and our opponents, he also defrauded Temple University, its athletic department and the student-athletes on the men’s tennis team.”
Temple must vacate each of the contests in which the ineligible player competed, including both singles and doubles matches.
Temple also alerted the committee that between 2004 and 2006, 36 student-athletes were allowed to purchase textbooks for classes in which they were not enrolled, a major violation.
The secondary violations consisted of:
•Failure to meet progress-toward-degree requirements of two football players during the 2004-05 academic year and one baseball player during the 2003-04 academic year.
•Improper certification of a women’s cross country runner during the 2005 season and men’s soccer player during the 2005-06 academic year.
John Kopp can be reached at email@example.com.