Georgia head coach Jack Bauerle has been officially suspended indefinitely by the University after a joint investigation with UGA and the NCAA wrapped up, accusing Bauerle of “severe breach of contract.”
The four-month-long investigation delved into Bauerle’s involvement in a male swimmer’s academic eligibility. The swimmer’s name has been redacted from the allegation letter released by the University, but ESPN has reported that it is star IMer Chase Kalisz, who was suspended alongside Bauerle in January. Kalisz was eventually released of his suspension, while Bauerle remained suspended through the rest of the season.
The NCAA alleges that Bauerle contacted a Georgia professor during the school’s finals period to secure a passing grade for the unnamed athlete, despite that athlete “not completing any work for the class,” according to the letter. The arrangement would have had the athlete receive an “incomplete” grade, then make up the coursework in late December and early January to receive a passing grade. Through a clerical error, though, the professor gave the student-athlete a passing grade.
The NCAA alleges that Bauerle making a special arrangement was providing an extra benefit to a student-athlete, which is a violation of NCAA rules. The NCAA’s letter also accuses Bauerle of breaking University of Georgia policies about communications between coaches and professors, and claims Bauerle went through with a plan to have an extra course added to the swimmer’s fall schedule even though the athletic department repeatedly told him not to.
The Georgia press release responded to the allegations with these comments:
“While I am disappointed about the Notice of Allegations, I am proud of the Athletic Department’s response to this matter,” UGA President Jere W. Morehead said. “The University of Georgia takes its compliance obligations seriously. We have cooperated fully with the NCAA throughout the investigation, and we will continue to do so in order to bring the matter to an appropriate conclusion.”
“Allegations of this nature are extremely disappointing and we will continue to fully cooperate with the NCAA staff on this matter,” J. Reid Parker Director of Athletics Greg McGarity said. “Until this matter has concluded, head swimming and diving coach Jack Bauerle will be suspended from all job-related responsibilities effective immediately.”
Bauerle released a statement of his own, apologizing for making a mistake and attempting to clear the student-athlete of any blame in the situation.
“I regret that I have placed the University of Georgia, an institution I dearly love and have given my heart and soul to for 44 years, in this situation,” Bauerle said. “While I do not agree with the charges in the way the NCAA has framed them, I made a mistake.”
“I want to emphasize unequivocally that the student-athlete involved in this matter did nothing wrong. Not one thing. I take full responsibility for my actions.”
The University now has 90 days to respond to the accusations. The NCAA will review the school’s response before making a final report. From there, the school will have to appear before the Committee on Infractions.
Georgia has announced that Senior Associate Head Coach Harvey Humphries will take over Acting Head Coach duties until the situation is settled. Humphries has already been fulfilling some of that role as Bauerle continued to serve his original suspension that limited his on-deck presence at meets. Humphries notably oversaw the women’s NCAA title just a few weeks ago.
Here is Bauerle’s full statement:
I regret that I have placed the University of Georgia, an institution I dearly love and have given my heart and soul to for 44 years, in this situation. While I do not agree with the charges in the way the NCAA has framed them, I made a mistake.
I want to emphasize unequivocally that the student-athlete involved in this matter did nothing wrong. Not one thing. I take full responsibility for my actions.
The academic achievements of the student-athletes in our program over the past 35 years are second to none. My record on academics speaks for itself. Our program has developed 28 NCAA Postgraduate Scholarship winners, seven SEC Scholar-Athlete Award winners, three NCAA Woman of the Year winners, and nine Foundation Fellows.
It saddens me that our coaches, student-athletes and support staff — through no fault of their own — were drawn into this matter. I am proud that our student-athletes and our staff did not allow it to distract them during the season and that we were able to work together to reach our lofty goals. I appreciate their commitment to maintaining the high standards we have established throughout the years.
This is an ongoing process, and I will not have any other comments on this matter publicly or privately until the process has been completed.