Henderson State, coaches penalized for NCAA violations

Posted: July 29, 2014 at 12:15 p.m.

Henderson State and two of its former women's basketball head coaches were penalized by the NCAA on Tuesday after the association determined the school did not monitor its women's basketball program to assure it was in compliance with NCAA rules.

The NCAA Division II Committee on Infractions ruled Tuesday that a former head women's basketball coach failed to "promote an atmosphere for compliance" and provided meals to recruits and their family members and offered a loan to a recruit's family member for travel costs.

Another head coach broke rules regarding tryouts and countable athletically related activity, the committee said.

Henderson State was placed on probation through July 28, 2016, and a two-year show-cause order was placed on one head coach while another coach received a one-year show-cause order. If those two coaches wish to be employed at an NCAA school during that time, the coach and the school will have to appear before the committee.

Henderson State had already self-imposed a slew of penalties before Tuesday's announcement, including a reduction of scholarships, a ban on texting recruits, prohibited off-campus recruiting activities, a suspension of official visits and the elimination of tryouts.

The two head coaches were not named in the NCAA's report, which said it began the investigation when it was made aware of a newspaper article from July 2011.

In April, 2011, Josh Matthews was fired and afterward told the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette that he spent an estimated $7,000-$10,000 of his own money on recruiting expenses per year. Chris Oestrich was hired as his replacement and went 14-13 in his only season before resigning two days before the 2012-2013 season began.

Kaci Bailey served as interim coach through the rest of that season, before the Reddies hired Jill Thomas, who led them to a 13-14 overall record last season.

Read Wednesday's Arkansas Democrat-Gazette for more on this story.