D-III Husson Swim Program Handed 1-Year Probation, Fine For Ethical Violation by Ex-Coach

by Riley Overend 4

November 30th, 2023 College, NCAA Division III, News

Husson University, a Division III school that competes in the North Atlantic Conference (NAC), has been hit with one year of probation and a $1,250 fine for an ethical violation by a former head coach.

The NCAA’s Committee on Infractions (COI) found that ex-Husson head coach Butch Babin knowingly arranged for a student assistant to receive $1,385 for 103 hours of work not performed. He encouraged the student to apply for the team manager position while he was recovering from shoulder surgery, and would allow him to do physical therapy in the pool on the clock.

However, the COI decided not to penalize Babin for his “serious” violations due to “unique and extraordinary circumstances related to his deteriorating health.” The COI decision was handled by Dean College president Kenneth Elmore, Allegheny Mountain Collegiate Conference commissioner Donna Ledwin, Ohio Northern athletic director Tom Simmons, and Angela Givens Williams, chief of the civil division in the U.S. attorney’s office for the Southern District of Mississippi.

Babin did not participate in the NCAA’s investigation due to “serious health issues and related treatments.” He has reportedly struggled with a broken hip, an open-heart surgery, and an amputated right foot due to a bacterial infection among other health issues over the past few years.

Babin was placed on administrative leave last fall for reasons unrelated to the aforementioned ethical violation. The Eagle women still went on to win their third consecutive NAC title earlier this year, and Lauren Dwyer was hired to replace Babin in June.

“Husson University works to ensure a safe and compliant environment surrounding our athletics program,” said Husson athletic director John Sutyak, who joined the university in September. “This institution has a commitment to excellence in all of our endeavors, including athletics compliance. We are confident that this was an isolated incident and have taken steps to ensure it won’t be repeated. We take any violation of NCAA rules very seriously, as shown by the quick work by the athletics staff in self-reporting, and cooperating, with NCAA officials.”

Husson officials claimed they acted quickly to self-report the violation and arrange a repayment of unearned wages.

“The university regrets that this incident has occurred and we are committed to treating this as a learning experience from which we will improve our practices and continue our tradition of excellence, holding ourselves to the highest standards of compliance and integrity,” Husson president Robert Clark said.

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olde coach
3 months ago

Reminds me of the NCAA making UMASS Women’s Tennis team vacate a A10 Championship about 10 yrs ago over a phone bill???? The NCAA probably wouldn’t waste a stamp or phone call on this type of infraction if it involved a Power 5 program. Too bad for the athletes involved and sorry to learn about the multitude of Butch’s physical ailments.

Reply to  olde coach
3 months ago

For those who don’t remember:

2 tennis players and 10 basketball players moved to cheaper off-campus housing, and continued to receive their ‘on campus’ housing rate. So in short, between 12 athletes, the school overpaid aid to the tune of $9,100 total, or $758 a person. It was an administrative oversight, caught way after the fact, and athletes who were later interviewed seemed pretty credible when they said they had no idea they were receiving extra money.

$252 of it was paid to the two tennis players. It was some kind of telecom fee that they paid when they lived on campus, moved off campus, and the school didn’t stop paying.

It was the 2017 title, vacated in 2020.

3 months ago

$1,385 for 103 hours of work? That’s way less than minimum wage. Good thing the work wasn’t actually performed or this could’ve been a serious crime!

Happy Slappy
3 months ago

Dudes had a rough couple of years

About Riley Overend

Riley is an associate editor interested in the stories taking place outside of the pool just as much as the drama between the lane lines. A 2019 graduate of Boston College, he arrived at SwimSwam in April of 2022 after three years as a sports reporter and sports editor at newspapers …

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