The NCAA placed TCU’s athletics program on probation for one year after the Horned Frogs self-reported violations that included 33 football and men’s and women’s basketball players receiving payment for work not actually performed as university summer employees from 2015 to 2018.
According to the NCAA infractions decision, the student-athletes did not clock out when they left the job site and were paid for hours they didn’t work. TCU’s Physical Plant hired the athletes, along with non-athletes, to change light bulbs on campus.
“Taking advantage of the program’s lax time accountability, some student-athletes did not always clock out when leaving the jobsite,” the NCAA report said. “Consequently, 33 student-athletes received payment for more work than they actually performed. The excess payments totaled nearly $20,000 over the four years and resulted in 22 of the student-athletes competing and receiving actual and necessary expenses while ineligible.”
TCU self-reported the violations, according to the report. The NCAA concluded they were Level II violations.
“I’m proud of TCU’s culture of compliance that led to these issues being identified, promptly disclosed, and corrected,” TCU chancellor Victor J. Boschini Jr. said in a statement. “I also am thankful for our team who successfully collaborated to ensure that we not only resolved this issue but continue to send a message of strong ethical leadership at TCU.”
TCU officials and the NCAA determined that the excess payments ranged from $74 to $2,687 per student-athlete (some of whom worked more than one summer) for a total of approximately $19,796 over the four years.
The more serious rules violations involved former TCU swimming and diving coach Sam Busch, who was given a one-year show-cause order. The NCAA said Busch’s program exceeded the maximum number of allowed coaches and practice limits. He resigned as TCU’s coach in February 2018 following an internal investigation.
The NCAA placed TCU’s athletic department on probation through Dec. 19, 2020, and fined the Horned Frogs $47,148, which includes a self-imposed amount of $19,796 and $27,352 — 10% of the revenue it received from the NCAA for competing in the first round of the 2018 NCAA tournament.
The Horned Frogs contested having to vacate wins in which the ineligible football and men’s and women’s basketball players competed, and the NCAA committee on infractions agreed that those penalties weren’t appropriate.
“We self-detected and self-reported the infractions that occurred and subsequently self-imposed appropriate penalties,” TCU athletic director Jeremiah Donati said in a statement. “The committee accepted our finding that the employment matter was an operational issue with no athletics involvement. We are thankful for the committee hearing our position and providing us an equitable result. The process worked.”