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One final thought on the women’s basketball violations

September 28, 2010

This is probably the last thing I will write about the women’s basketball violations, at least until some further news comes out.

In my initial post yesterday, I noted that the university mentioned several “areas of concern” in which violations appear to have occurred but there was insufficient evidence to take action. A key point was that at a team meeting led by assistant coach Darin Thrun in the fall of 2009, while head coach AnnMarie Gilbert was out of town, “[e]vidence suggests, but does not confirm, that student-athletes were directed to give false information about the number of hours they were required to practice and the voluntary nature of practices.” Practice time violations are certainly serious enough, but if a coach instructed students to lie to investigators, that would take this to a whole different level.

While Gilbert was suspended without pay for one month, Thrun was indefinitely suspended with pay. I can only think of one reason for an indefinite suspension: Gragg expects something further to happen or some additional information to come out.

In a statement yesterday, Derrick Gragg said, “We obviously take the matter very seriously, are cooperating fully with the NCAA and have provided a formal self report and self-imposed sanctions. While I am disappointed, I am confident that Coach Gilbert will learn from this and that this will make her an even better coach in the future. The issuance of self-imposed sanctions does not preclude further disciplinary action” (my emphasis).

This kind of violation has gotten coaches and athletic directors fired, not every time, but often enough that it wouldn’t be a surprise. This is pure speculation, but it certainly seems to me that, while Gilbert’s job is safe for now, Thrun may not be at EMU much longer.

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