Prospective campers planning to hit the pool at Georgia between May 31 and June 13 found an important website update this month: ‚ÄúJack Bauerle will not be present for any of the 2014 Summer Swim Camps.‚Äù
No longer is Bauerle‚Äôs name listed by the College Swimming Coaches Association of America as the NCAA Division I men‚Äôs swimming representative on its board of directors even though he‚Äôs not halfway through a two-year term.
Georgia suspended Bauerle, its longtime coach, from job-related responsibilities on April 4 due to allegations of NCAA violations involving ‚Äúspecial arrangements‚Äù made with a professor after a class had ended and during finals to add a course for men‚Äôs swimmer Chase Kalisz.
‚ÄúI just wanted to make sure that people weren‚Äôt contacting him during this time because he‚Äôs not allowed to be doing work,‚Äù CSCAA executive director Joel Shinofield said. ‚ÄúHe‚Äôs still on the board and we‚Äôre anticipating when all of this is cleared up, he‚Äôll be back on.‚Äù
Harvey Humphries, who coached the men‚Äôs and women‚Äôs teams after Bauerle was suspended from coaching at meets on Jan. 4 while an investigation was ongoing, is now the acting head coach.
It‚Äôs his job to now run a program that has won six NCAA women‚Äôs swimming titles under Bauerle and whose men finished fifth in the nation this year.
The NCAA cloud hanging over the program could complicate things for Georgia. Recruits can be contacted starting July 1 after their junior year of high school.
‚ÄúIt will certainly be a question when they‚Äôre recruiting,‚Äù said Jason Turcotte, head coach and CEO of the Dynamo Swim Club, which has facilities in Chamblee and Alpharetta, ‚Äúbut Georgia has a pretty good profile. Our kids have relationships with all the coaches there, not just Jack. Harvey‚Äôs been there for every bit as long as Jack it seems.‚Äù
Dynamo has top 100 nationally ranked junior boys Knox Auerbach and Patrick Cusick, according to CollegeSwimming.com.
‚ÄúOur kids will still be interested in it,‚Äù Turcotte said. ‚ÄúHow that goes and what questions are asked and answered I couldn‚Äôt really predict, but I don‚Äôt think anybody will walk away from it. It‚Äôs a really good deal, swimming wise, academically and then you couple in the HOPE Scholarship and Zell Miller (Scholarship), our kids are still going to be interested in UGA for sure.‚Äù
Georgia had 90 days to respond to the NCAA, which alleges that Bauerle provided an extra benefit for Kalisz when he received a passing grade in a class in which work was not done and failed to promote an atmosphere of compliance within his program. Kalisz was suspended Jan. 4 but reinstated Jan. 17 and won his second consecutive NCAA 400 individual medley title.
The NCAA enforcement staff will then have 60 days to issue a final report to the Committee on Infractions before Georgia officials appear before the committee, which could stretch into the fall.
‚ÄúI think this will be resolved,‚Äù Shinofield said. ‚ÄúJack‚Äôs one of the best coaches who exists, he‚Äôs just a good person.‚Äù
The NCAA alleged Bauerle arranged for an incomplete to be received for the course to allow work to be completed by early January for a passing grade, but a clerical error was made for a passing grade. Bauerle has acknowledged that he made ‚Äúa mistake,‚Äù but said he didn‚Äôt agree with the charges ‚Äúin the way the NCAA has framed them.‚Äù
Humphries was not made available by Georgia to be interviewed for this story to talk about recruiting while Bauerle remains suspended.
Georgia distributed a total of $165,975 in bonuses to Humphries and coaches Dan Laak, Jerry Champer, Brian Smith and Stefanie Williams for the women‚Äôs NCAA and Southeastern Conference championships and the men‚Äôs top-five finish.
Bauerle was not listed among coaches getting postseason bonuses, according to information obtained in an open records request. He did receive a $1,500 academic bonus in November when the other swimming coaches received $1,000 each.
Besides $42,784 in postseason bonuses, Humphries also will receive a $2,000 per month stipend for serving as interim coach. Bauerle is suspended with pay.
The late signing period for swimming is going on now, but Shinofield figures Georgia came close to wrapping up its 2014 class in the fall.
Georgia signed 14 then, including six who swim for Dynamo: Kylie Stewart, Gunnar Bentz, Basil Orr and triplets Jay, Kevin and Mick Litherland.
‚ÄúI pulled them aside and talked to them about it one day and they‚Äôre pretty sold on the whole deal,‚Äù Turcotte said. ‚ÄúThey certainly want Jack to be their head coach. Whatever message they‚Äôve gotten from Harvey and Jack and Brian and Jerry and Stefanie has been appropriate and they feel good about it. You know high school kids can get a little unsettled easily, but whatever the messaging they‚Äôve gotten, they feel very good about it.‚Äù
Courtney Weaver, from Davison, Mich., the No. 25 recruit in the nation, told the Davison Index last week after a signing ceremony at her school: ‚ÄúThe program is great, I love the coaching staff, the campus is beautiful and I felt like I was already part of the team.‚Äù
Georgia has not had any signees ask for a release from their letter of intent this year, according to information provided by the school in the open records request.
‚ÄúMost people have already spent their money if you‚Äôre a scholarship athlete,‚Äù Turcotte said. ‚ÄúOur kids are pretty committed to the team and the other coaches and the university. It has been surprisingly not a distraction. If they‚Äôre talking about it, it‚Äôs online or in some social media that I‚Äôm not aware of, but when I talk to them they‚Äôre still every bit as committed to UGA.‚Äù
Follow Marc online at twitter.com/marcweiszer.