Seattle Pacific Falcons put on 2-year probation for women’s soccer violations

falconbug208-9_hires-400SEATTLE, WA—The NCAA recently released an infractions report on Seattle Pacific Women’s Soccer. The findings detail improper handling of funds by an unnamed ‘former coach’ and a lack of oversight on behalf of the university which include rostering an ineligible player.

This Seattle Times article names the ‘unnamed coach’ as former Falcons head coach Chuck Sekyra.

Sekyra resigned from SPU in 2015 after 12 successful seasons.

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Chuck Sekyra. (SPU photo)

The penalties include 2 years of probation March 10,2017-March 10, 2019 and the women’s soccer team possibly giving up any wins that the ineligible student-athlete participated in.

The probation is for the school athletic department as a whole. The women’s soccer team remains eligible for post season play in 2017.

“This moment will serve as a catalyst for growth within Seattle Pacific athletics, and while there are corrective actions ahead, I am thrilled to know that none of our student-athletes will lose any opportunity for participation, scholarships, or postseason play moving forward,” athletic director Jackson Stava told The Falcon student newspaper. “I know that everyone associated with SPU athletics will be proud of our response to these findings, and that the future of SPU athletics is incredibly bright.”

(Cover photo from SPU.edu)

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Here is a segment from the NCAA.com press release:

The former coach maintained two personal bank accounts and used those to process women’s soccer camp and tournament fees totaling $20,125 and a $500 donation to the program. NCAA rules require a university’s athletics budget to be controlled by the university and subject to its normal budgeting procedures, so the use of the two personal accounts for athletics money violated those rules. He gave four high school soccer teams discounted rates for the university’s camp. Those teams paid $150 to $500 less than other teams participating in the same camps and totaled $1,650 in discounted fees. The discounted fees led to ineligible competition by a current women’s soccer student-athlete, who attended the camp as a member of a high school team that received a $500 discount. Finally, the former coach paid a former assistant coach $2,200 in cash outside of the university’s established payroll procedures for working at the university’s camps.

The former coach unilaterally engaged in the conduct without reviewing NCAA rules or asking for input from the university’s compliance staff or athletics director. The committee noted that the involvement in violations demonstrated a lax attitude toward compliance that does not meet the membership’s high standards for head coaches. As a result, the committee found the former coach violated the NCAA head coach responsibility rules and did not promote an atmosphere for compliance.

The university acknowledged it did not regularly review the former coach’s management of the soccer camps, including how the fees were processed and the rates he charged participants. Its compliance system also did not provide sufficient checks and balances to detect and prevent the violations.

Penalties and corrective measures prescribed by the committee include:

  • Public reprimand and censure.
  • A two-year probation period from March 10, 2017, through March 9, 2019.
  • A two-year show-cause order from March 10, 2017, through March 9, 2019, for the former coach.
  • A vacation of wins in which the ineligible student-athlete competed. The university will identify the games impacted after the release of the public report. 
  • The university must undergo a Compliance Blueprint Review, and if it is unavailable, then the university must complete a comprehensive audit of its athletics compliance program by an outside agency (self-imposed by the university).
  • A $2,500 fine.
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