The NCAA’s Independent Accountability Resolution Process (IARP) investigation into the University of Arizona athletics program has continued, and head swimming & diving coach Augie Busch has been cleared of violations and wrongdoing.
The original investigation revolved around Arizona’s high-profile basketball team and former head coach Sean Miller, prompted by a broader FBI investigation into corruption in college basketball. The FBI announced the arrest of 10 people in September 2017, including a number of college basketball assistant coaches, on charges of bribery, money laundering, and wire fraud. The original investigation involved Arizona, Auburn, Louisville, Miami, Oklahoma State, South Carolina, and USC and allegedly bribing players.
Arizona assistant basketball coach Emanuel Richardson was arrested and indicted on allegations that he met with agent Christian Dawkins in June 2017 and agreed to accept a $5,000 bribe in exchange for steering Arizona players to Dawkins’ sports management company. He was also accused of accepting at least $15,000 in bribes and paying a recruit to attend Arizona.
The IARP uncovered even more violations, including that Richardson accepted $20,000 in cash bribes and paying $40,000 for a fraudulent academic transcript.
While swimming was not implicated directly in that scheme, the IARP investigation into Arizona’s basketball program uncovered violations within the swimming and diving program during 2018 and 2019. The full story is below, but the issue revolved around a pair of minor divers, sisters, who followed Arizona diving coach Dwight Dumais from Austin, where he coached at Longhorn Aquatics, to Tucson after he became the program’s diving coach in 2018.
The specific violations stem from the fact that the family did not move to Tucson until April 2019,but trained with Dumais at his Tucson diving club before moving there. One sister trained there from November 2018 until the family moved there, and the other trained there from December 2018 until the family moved there.
NCAA Division I rules allow college coaches to coach club teams, so long as all members of those teams live within a 50-mile radius of the university. Because the two prospective student-athletes trained there prior to moving, the IARP declared those as impermissible tryout.
There were further violations when the one of the sisters stayed with a local family for free for 11 days in November 2018 and that both sisters received occasional free transportation and meals from local families while not living in Tucson. Those are violations of NCAA preferential treatment Bylaw 18.104.22.168.6, according to the case decision.
The IARP said that when Dumais was told by the mother of one of those families that the prospective student-athletes were living with her, he should have asked more questions, which likely would have led to the discovery of those impermissible benefits.
Dumais, who is only identified in the IARP report as “assistant swimming & diving coach,” was a six-year member of the USA Diving team, a two-time Olympic Trials qualifier, and a two-time Pac-10 Champion as an athlete. He also came Arizona with 8 years of coaching experience at the Longhorn Aquatic Club. When he joined the Wildcats staff in 2018, however, he had no direct experience as an NCAA coach.
The hearing found that head swimming & diving coach Augie Busch “demonstrated that he promoted an atmosphere of compliance and monitored his assistant coach, rebutting the presumption of head coach responsibility.”
Sean Miller, the head coach of the basketball program at the time of the alleged violations there, also escaped sanction from the NCAA.
The Arizona swimming & diving program recently cleared a two-year probation period, which included the loss of a women’s scholarship, over similar NCAA violations committed by former head diving coach Omar Ojeda in 2017, when Rick DeMont was the program’s head coach.
The IARP identified that Dumais committed two Level II and two Level III violations, and also assessed the university with a Level II Failure to Monitor violation relating to the actions of both programs.
“I appreciate the consideration throughout this process,” DeMont said of the decision. “Head coach control and adherence to NCAA rules are top priorities for me and will remain so in the future.”
Dumais was given a one-year show-cause order, meaning that Dumais’ penalty would follow him to any other programs. During that period, he is prohibited from participating in off-campus recruiting activities for six months and will attend one NCAA Regional Rules Seminar.
The swimming & diving program was also hit with some minor recruiting penalties. That includes:
- A one-week ban on unofficial visits for the 2022-23 academic year
- A 1% reduction in the number of official visits for the 2022-23 academic year, based on the average number provided during the previous four years
- A one-week suspension of off-campus recruiting during the 2022-23 academic year
- A one-week recruiting communication (telephone and written correspondence) ban for the 2022-23 academic year
There are also additional institutional penalties, including required education and additional reporting, and informing future prospects in those sports that the school is on probation for three years and why.
The swimming & diving program did not vacate any results or receive any post-season competition bans as a result of the investigation. The basketball program, implicated in much more serious violations, vacated 50 victories and four Pac-12 titles as a result of the IARP findings.
Full Description from IARP Report of Swimming & Diving Violations
During the men’s basketball program infractions investigation, the enforcement staff became aware of violations within the swimming and diving program during 2018 and 2019 involving assistant swimming and diving coach. According to the infractions case decision, the violations arose from assistant swimming and diving coach’s recruitment of two diving prospective student-athletes, sisters who had previously trained with the coach in Texas before moving to the Tucson, Arizona, area to train with him at his diving club. The hearing panel found violations related to assistant swimming and diving coach having conducted impermissible tryouts and preferential treatment being provided to diving prospective student-athlete Nos. 1 and 2.
According to the case decision, the mother of diving prospective student-athlete Nos. 1 and 2 expressed interest in moving to the Tucson area in October 2018 to allow her daughters to continue training with assistant swimming and diving coach after he was employed by Arizona. However, the family did not move to the Tucson area until April 2019. The decision states that before the family of the diving prospective student-athletes moved to the Tucson area in April 2019, diving prospective student-athlete No. 1 trained with assistant swimming and diving coach at his Tucson diving club, club No. 3, from November 2018 to April 2019, and diving prospective student-athlete No. 2 trained with the same coach at club No. 3 from December 2018 to April 2019. However, because their family was not living in the Tucson area during this time, neither of the diving prospective student-athletes was a legal resident living within a 50-mile radius of Arizona, where assistant swimming and diving coach was employed, according to the infractions case decision. Therefore, the hearing panel found that the training of diving prospective student-athlete Nos. 1 and 2 by assistant swimming and diving coach at club No. 3 resulted in assistant swimming and diving coach conducting impermissible tryouts for both diving prospective student-athlete Nos. 1 and 2, according to NCAA bylaws.
Additionally, before the family of the diving prospective student-athletes moved to the Tucson area, diving prospective student-athlete No. 1 stayed with family No. 3 in Tucson, at no cost, from November 11-21, 2018, and diving prospective student athlete Nos. 1 and 2 received free occasional transportation from family No. 3 from December 2018 to April 2019. From November 26-30, 2018, diving prospective student-athlete No. 1 stayed with family No. 4 in Tucson at no cost, while also receiving free transportation and occasional meals from family No. 4. Because neither of the diving prospective student-athletes was eligible to train with assistant swimming and diving coach at his Tucson diving club during the time in which they received these benefits, the free lodging, transportation and occasional meals for the diving prospective student-athletes from family No. 3 and family No. 4 resulted in a violation of NCAA preferential treatment Bylaw 22.214.171.124.6, according to the case decision. Further, the hearing panel found that a red flag was raised for assistant swimming and diving coach when he was told by the mother of family No. 3 that diving prospective student-athlete Nos. 1 and 2 were residing with her. According to the case decision, this should have led to, at a minimum, additional questions by assistant swimming and diving coach regarding the prospective student athletes’ living situation and residency status, which would have likely led to the discovery of these impermissible benefits.
Biggest big winner is UVa. Augie left & UVa hit the jackpot with DeSorbo.
Augie knew and covered it up
Billy Bob Thornton will play him in the movie adaptation of this news article.
By the way, Braden, excellent job of putting together a coherent piece on such an incoherent situation. Good work.
Are you agreeing that Dumais coaching these girls at his club (not clear from the ruling if Dumais “diving club” where he trained these girls was at the University (potentially a benefit?) or another Tucson facility) was a “tryout” after he had an apparently extended (term not specified in article but long enough that the mother of the “prospects” was willing to move their family cross country to continue to ensure Dumais coaching services to her daughters) coaching relationship with the girls was …… a tryout?
If so, it may have been the longest and most comprehensive tryout in collegiate sports history. By the way, did they pass the tryout? Stupid bureaucratic NCAA mumbo jumbo.
I agree. This whole thing sounds ridiculous.