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Volleyball: Ohio placed on probation for a year due to recruiting violations

The Ohio women’s volleyball team has been placed on probation for a year by the NCAA and the NCAA Office of the Committee on Infractions as a punishment for several recruiting violations by the coaching staff. The Bobcats’ staff provided “impermissible recruiting inducements” eight times between October 2015 and September 2018, according to the NCAA’s report on the incident.

The report says the coaching staff provided a total of $4,408 of airfare to either one or both parents of eight different recruits on their paid visits. Four of the recruits later became student-athletes at Ohio. 

The names of the four student-athletes have yet to be released by Ohio or the NCAA.

Among the year-long probation period, Ohio was fined $5,000, three of the team’s eight allowed paid visits were revoked and all of its wins in the regular season and postseason have been vacated in each of the 2016-17, 2017-18 and 2018-19 seasons. 

The Bobcats will vacate 43 regular season wins and three Mid-American Conference Tournament wins due to the sanctions.

In addition, the individual records of any of the four ineligible student-athletes will be vacated.

Ohio self-reported the violations on April 18, 2019, and requested the reinstatement of the four ineligible student-athletes. An NCAA investigation was launched in November 2019 with cooperation from Ohio. 

The investigation found the violations came from coach Deane Webb’s misunderstanding of the rules of paid visits. Ohio did not provide “sufficient NCAA rules education regarding official paid visits to staff members responsible for the expense approval process,” and that compliance staff did not review expense reports requesting recruiting expense reimbursement.

According to the statement, Webb and his staff fully complied with the investigation and showed remorse for violating the rules.

“The head coach and his staff cooperated fully during both the institution's internal investigation and the collaborative enforcement investigation,“ the NCAA said in the report. “While the head coach's misunderstanding of the legislation led to the violations, there was no intent to circumvent NCAA rules or conceal violations.”

Ohio has 14 days to reflect the vacation of its wins and achievements on all NCAA archives and publications.


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