Staten Island Barred from NCAA Championships Over Recruiting Violations

The College of Staten Island has been hammered by the NCAA for what it referred to as “lack of institutional control,” the organization announced today.

The program’s former swim coach, Oleg Soloviev, has been accused of violating NCAA rules in recruitment of foreign athletes. Among the violations, according to the NCAA, is helping four student-athletes arrange off-campus housing, including signing leases on behalf of two-student athletes; allowing one student-athlete to stay in the coach’s home; and providing statement of financial support for students to obtain visas.

He is also said to have “arranged for three student-athletes to obtain their lifeguard recertifications through a recertification course at reduced costs, even though none of the three student-athletes were certified lifeguards before the recertification course,” the official press release said.

The greater charge that the college lacked institutional control comes from the NCAA’s finding of the athletic department’s inability to prove certain administrative hurdles were adhered to, and that the school provided inadequate rules education within its athletics department.

They were also found to have provided a discounted rate to a swim club renting the school’s facility as compared to one that was published. That club will no longer be allowed to lease the pool.

The NCAA’s full public report can be seen here.

The list of penalties awarded, including those self-imposed by the school, include:

  • Public reprimand and censure.
  • Four years of probation from November 21, 2013 through November 20, 2017.
  • A four-year show-cause order for the former coach. The public report contains further details.
  • A two-year postseason ban for the men’s swimming team (they can swim the conference championship meet in the 2013-2014 and 2014-2015 seasons, but not NCAA’s)
  • A vacation of the conference Coach of the Year honors for the former coach from 2007 through 2011 (self-imposed by the college).
  • A vacation of all individual records and performances of six student-athletes from the time they became ineligible for competition through the time their eligibility was reinstated.
  • The school will not recruit international prospective men’s swimming student-athletes during the 2012-2013 and 2013-2014 academic years.

Though, the six athletes were not named, nor was the time-period specified, that would seem include stripping Pavel Buyanov of his 2009 NCAA Division III title in the 100 yard breaststroke, and his 2008 titles in both the 100 and 200, which he won in 54.70 to win the school’s first-ever NCAA title of any kind.

Former Saint Olaf swimmer Nelson Westby was the runner-up in both years for the 100 breaststroke titles, and Kenyon’s Alexander Stoyel was the 2008 runner-up in the 200 breaststroke.

A call to the NCAA to confirm whether they would be awarded the now-vacated titles was met by a voicemail answering service, and a request for comment directed us to the public report. The public report did not address the issue of which titles would be vacated, but it does say that “there will be no reconfiguring of finishes for the affected teams.”

The program is a part of the City University of New York system. The Dolphins did not score at last year’s NCAA Championships, though then-junior Andrey Tarasov did finished 25th in the men’s 100 yard breaststroke as their lone representative at the meet. The women’s program remains unaffected.

Leave a Reply

Notify of

1 Comment
oldest most voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
9 years ago

Had Buyanov not been swimming, Kenyon would have won the meet and extended their streak another year. Crazy.

About Braden Keith

Braden Keith

Braden Keith is the Editor-in-Chief and a co-founder/co-owner of He first got his feet wet by building The Swimmers' Circle beginning in January 2010, and now comes to SwimSwam to use that experience and help build a new leader in the sport of swimming. Aside from his life on the InterWet, …

Read More »