(Photo Courtesy of Hartford Athletics)
On Thursday, the NCAA announced a ruling that punished Hartford men’s lacrosse program for recruiting and eligibility violations that the school self-reported to the NCAA.
The report states that Hartford had impermissible recruiting contacts by its men’s lacrosse program, according to an agreement released by the Division I Committee on Infractions.
Lacrosse Recruiting Violation:
Head men’s lacrosse coach Ryan Martin and an assistant coach made impermissible recruiting contact with a student-athlete from a DIII school. The assistant coach impermissibly called and texted with the student-athlete. Both the head coach and assistant coach hosted the student-athlete for an unofficial visit that included a meeting, an athletics-specific tour of the campus and attendance at a lacrosse practice.
According to the men’s lacrosse student-athlete, in February 2019, he made the decision that
he would not return the following year to the Division III institution where he was then currently
enrolled. He conveyed this information to a lacrosse club coach in Boston, Massachusetts, who,
in turn, contacted the assistant coach and indicated that the men’s lacrosse student-athlete intended
to transfer. The assistant coach at Hartford contacted the student-athlete on or about February 13, 2019. Between February 13 and May 14, 2019, the assistant coach placed three phone calls and
text messaged the men’s lacrosse student-athlete on approximately 12 occasions in an effort to
recruit him to Hartford. In addition, the head coach and assistant coach hosted the student-athlete
for an unofficial visit in April 2019 in a continued effort to recruit the student-athlete. During the
unofficial visit, both coaches engaged in a 90-minute meeting with the student-athlete and his
father, provided the student-athlete with an athletics-specific tour and allowed him to attend a team
practice. The student-athlete withdrew from the Division III institution in May 2019. That institution indicated that it would have granted a request for permission to contact the student athlete in February 2019 if it had been requested.
Hartford self-reported the impermissible contact violation on June 28, 2019. The student athlete enrolled at Hartford in August 2019. The institution did not declare the student-athlete
ineligible and did not seek reinstatement of his eligibility. Subsequently, he competed in six
contests while ineligible and received actual and necessary expenses while ineligible during the
2020 spring season prior to it being halted due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
In May 2020, the institution discovered it had erroneously certified the same men’s lacrosse
student-athlete as academically eligible for competition because he had only transferred in 22
credit hours from his previous Division III institution. Because he was, in fact, entering his second
full-time academic year, he was two hours short of the 24-hour requirement. Consequently, he
competed prior to fulfillment of his credit-hour requirement.
Lacrosse Bucket has learned that the student-athlete referenced in the report is midfielder/faceoff man Andrew Moynihan.
Additionally, the report stated that there was a pattern of noncompliance within the men’s lacrosse program and stated that frequent turnover in the department adversely impacted Hartford’s compliance process.
- A reduction of men’s lacrosse team equivalency scholarships by 0.40 from a total of 12.6 allowed for the 2021-22 academic year.
- A two-week ban on men’s lacrosse unofficial visits and a 10% reduction of men’s lacrosse official paid visits based on the previous four-year average in the 2020-21 academic year.
- A one-year show-cause order for the head men’s lacrosse coach. During that period, the head coach must be prohibited from participating in all recruiting communication, contacts and off-campus recruiting for four weeks. The head coach also must attend one NCAA Regional Rules Seminar at his own expense.
- The head coach must be suspended from the first regular-season competition during the 2020-21 season.
- A one-year show-cause order for the assistant men’s lacrosse coach. During that period, he must be prohibited from participating in all recruiting communication contacts and off-campus recruiting for two weeks and must be suspended from the second regular-season competition during the 2020-21 season. The assistant coach also must attend one NCAA Regional Rules Seminar at his own expense.
- A vacation of records of contests in which student-athletes participated while ineligible. The university must provide a written report containing the contests impacted to the NCAA media coordination and statistics staff within 14 days of the public release of the decision.