The NCAA announced the University of Hawaii men’s basketball team’s postseason ban and other penalties for the coming season must be reconsidered.
A decision by its Infractions Appeals Committee was released this morning, stating that the committee must reconsider the penalties it imposed on the University of Hawaii mens’ basketball season because the penalties were incorrectly applied. The penalties include a postseason ban, scholarship reductions and a fine.
The university filed an appeal based on which infraction structure should be used, saying the infractions happened before Oct. 30, 2012 when the NCAA adopted a new structure. The university believed that while there were infractions after Oct. 30, the violations began earlier.
In determining the initial penalties, the NCAA found that the former head coach Gib Arnold’s provision of false and misleading information, and the unethical actions of the former assistant coach, which occurred after Oct. 30, 2012 “tipped the balance” in comparison to the other violations when determining what violation structure to use for this case.
The appeals committee review determined that while unethical conduct is egregious and can tip the balance, there also needs to be a connection between the behavior of the coach and the university. There were no indications that the University of Hawaii encouraged the coaches behavior or failed to warn them that such behavior would not be acceptable.
Because of this finding, the appeals committee sent the case back to the hearing panel to determine which infraction structure is less stringent and review the penalties.
As for the violations of the NCAA ethical conduct rules by Arnold, the appeals committee upheld the three-year show cause from Oct. 28, 2016, through Oct. 27, 2019. During that time, if he works for a NCAA program, his athletics duties may be restricted.
In 2015, an NCAA panel found that the former head coach provided false or misleading information during the investigation, allowed his director of operations to participate in coaching activities and failed to report a possible NCAA violation. Additionally, the panel found the former head coach violated NCAA ethical conduct rules and did not promote an atmosphere for compliance.
Arnold appealed the initial ruling against him admitting the investigation may show his lack of control of the program, but he did not believe it showed he knew and intentionally violated NCAA rules.
After its review, the appeals committee noted that ethical conduct rules cover more than the concept of knowingly furnishing or knowingly influencing others to furnish false or misleading information during an investigation. It also found that when an infractions panel is faced with contradictory information, it must look at all case material and testimony to decide the correct facts of the case. In this case, the appeals committee did not find grounds for overturning the panel’s finding of the unethical conduct violation.