NCAA hammers Southern Miss tennis in major cheating scandal
The NCAA may be struggling with its investigation of the Miami case, but it had no problem dropping the hammer on Southern Miss tennis.
The NCAA announced a one-year postseason ban for the men’s tennis program at Southern Miss on Wednesday, in addition to four years of probation, vacating wins between 2008-10 and a seven-year show-cause order for the former head coach.
Seems excessive for a tennis scandal? Actually, as these things go, there was some pretty serious cheating going on at Southern Miss.
The NCAA, according to its public report, found that two former tennis coaches at the school offered a player $5,000 and a car to remain at Southern Miss instead of transferring. The former head coach, Teddy Viator, had also offered $200 to a player to win a match in which he was trailing and organized an illegal foreign tour to the Bahamas in 2008. He was also cited for academic misconduct, arranging for a student-athlete at the school to write a paper for one of his players.
Violator denied in the $5,000 allegation and said the $200 offer was “a joke” in a deposition during the player’s lawsuit against the NCAA to have his eligibility reinstated. That lawsuit was dismissed last year.
Both former coaches declined to be interviewed by the NCAA. The former assistant, who was not named, was charged with unethical conduct for instructing the player to “deny everything.”
According to the report, most of the allegations came from tennis players whose scholarships were not going to be renewed by the head coach. They brought those complaints to Southern Miss compliance in May 2010, at which point the school self-reported violations.
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