UGA details academic mishap, coach involvement in Bauerle case

The University of Georgia argued to the NCAA that its self-imposed penalties on head swim coach Jack Bauerle are more than stern enough not to warrant further sanctions.

UGA details academic mishap, coach involvement in Bauerle case
Chris White

In documents obtained Thursday evening by the Athens Banner-Herald through a public records request, UGA goes into added detail concerning the case against Bauerle, who remains suspended from all job-related duties. Earlier this year Bauerle admitted to athletic department officials he contacted an associate professor and requested one of his swimmers, Chase Kalisz, be enrolled in a class after the semester had ended.

An investigation headed by athletic department officials with help from the NCAA led the university to argue the benefit Bauerle sought did not provide a “substantial or extensive” competitive advantage to Kalisz, according to the documents. Kalisz was cleared of wrongdoing before the end of the swim season.

Instead, it was an ill-advised phone call and an errant mouse click that led to the suspension of the longtime swim coach and athlete, the athletic department stated in its response to the NCAA notice of allegation, dated June 30 and signed by President Jere Morehead.

Some details from the incident were previously reported, but several bits of new information or more-detailed accounts were found in the documents.

THE PHONE CALL

■ While Georgia found the benefit provided to Kalisz was relatively unsubstantial, Bauerle’s role broke an athletic department policy prohibiting coaches from contacting instructors.

■ On Dec. 10, Bauerle contacted an associate professor — whose name and department was redacted throughout the documents — to request Kalisz be added to one of his classes with the understanding Kalisz would be given an incomplete and would make up the work in the spring for a satisfactory grade.

■ Georgia describes the late addition as hardly unique, noting Kalisz was one of 69 students who “properly added a course with the approval of the required faculty members in December 2013 — and one of 710 who added a course after the add/drop deadline of Sept. 11, 2013.” The instructor described this practice as “routine.”

■ Bauerle then contacted athletic department officials about obtaining academic help for Kalisz and told them of his request to the professor. The department then launched an investigation that eventually included several NCAA employees.

■ “Bauerle has accepted full responsibility for this entire situation and made clear that, to the extent any blame is due, that blame rests squarely on his shoulders,” the report states.

THE GRADE

■ The unnamed associate professor gave Kalisz a passing grade — an “S” — and was then contacted by Bauerle, who said he never asked the swimmer be given the mark without doing the work, the investigation found.

■ The associate professor told investigators he was quickly clicking through “S” grades when he must have accidentally included Kalisz.

■ The report quotes the associate professor: “And so what happens is that (name redacted) shows up on my list of (redacted). And I’m embarrassed to say, I was going with my clicker S, S, S, S, because that’s what you do. Because unless, unless there’s some exceptional circumstance, they’re gonna get an S, and I didn’t see (redacted) name. And so then I was on (redacted) because I mean, I’m sorry, no, that — when Jack called and said did you realize you gave him an S, I thought I’d lost my mind because I didn’t know how that happened.”

■ The university has since enacted a change to its policy regarding students enrolling in a class after the drop/add date. A student must now submit a letter explaining the reason for the request; the instructor must submit a report detailing how the student can complete the coursework on time; and the dean must submit a letter to the registrar providing “extraordinary justification” for the late addition.

GEORGIA’S STANCE

The university argues the findings are not egregious enough to be labeled NCAA Level I violations and that no further sanctions should be handed down for several reasons:

■ This is not proof of a lack of institutional control as the university warned Bauerle against contacting an instructor and took action when it learned of his involvement.

■ Other students, including non-athletes, had been added to classes in similar fashion.

■ No academic fraud was found to have been committed.

■ Kalisz did not compete while ineligible.

■ Kalisz remained eligible without regard to Bauerle’s actions.

PENALTIES TO COACHES

Bauerle and associate head coach/recruiting coordinator Brian Smith received several sanctions. Bauerle’s punishment includes:

■ No increase in pay through the duration of his contract, which runs through June 30, 2017. Bauerle made $249,999.96 in 2013.

■ Future bonuses under the existing contract will be reduced by $5,000 and by an amount equal to the legal fees incurred by the university as a result of the violations in this case.

■ Bauerle must attend the 2015 NCAA Regional Rules Seminar at his own expense.

■ Letter of reprimand from athletic director Greg McGarity.

Redactions in the documents left Smith’s role unclear, and the university states it found Bauerle acted alone. However, the assistant coach also was penalized:

■ Smith must attend the 2015 NCAA Regional Rules Seminar at his own expense.

■ Smith will not be eligible for bonuses through the 2014-15 term.

■ Letter of reprimand from McGarity.

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