Loretta Race contributed to this report.
In a conference call on Tuesday, Georgia Athletic Director Greg McGarity said that there was a “sense of relief and excitement by athletes in the pool” after the NCAA announced earlier in the day that head coach Jack Bauerle would return as the coach of Georgia Swimming & Diving at some point during the 2014-2015 season.
“It’s been a long process and has caused worry and concern, but we thank the student athletes for their resiliency and focus during the year long ordeal,” McGarity said.
When, exactly, those swimmers would see coach Bauerle back on deck is still up in the air, according to McGarity.
The AD said that the school still hadn’t had a chance to get clarity on certain points of Bauerle’s punishment, including when Bauerle will be able to return to coaching practice, and whether or not the three meets remaining on his suspension will include the Tennessee Diving Invite in mid-January.
In other comments, McGarity says that there was no probation imposed on Georgia as an institution, despite the NCAA classing this as a level 2 case: the second-most severe type of NCAA infraction. McGarity commented that one “would be hard pressed to find another incident anywhere in which a level 2 case did not result in an institution-level suspension,” which he is taking as “a sign that the NCAA is comfortable with the way Georgia runs its athletic programs.”
“As an institution, we agree that Jack’s admittance of missteps speaks to his character,” McGarity said in support of his swim coach. “We felt like [getting Jack back to the program] was just the right thing to do to get the swimming & diving program back to normal.
“This is a great lesson for our institution and other institutions moving forward.”