The Collegian
Saturday, July 04, 2020

Former assistant basketball coach working for D-I school in Georgia

One of the assistant basketball coaches who resigned after revelations about NCAA recruiting violations is working as an assistant coach at a Division I basketball program in Georgia.

Dave Waples, the athletics director at Kennesaw State University in Kennesaw, Ga., confirmed to The Collegian Wednesday night that Chris Carroll, who worked as an assistant coach with the Richmond women's team, admitted to text-messaging two recruits while at Richmond, a major violation of NCAA rules.

The University of Richmond announced Monday on its athletics Web site that a school investigation had found that two former assistant coaches had knowingly sent recruits hundreds of text messages and had made more than the allowable number of phone calls to recruits. University officials have declined to name the two coaches, citing privacy concerns.

Carroll was still on staff at Kennesaw as of Wednesday as an assistant coach for the women's program. Waples declined to speculate about his future in the program before the NCAA's scheduled release of sanctions in the next 30 days.

"It's an unfortunate situation," Waples said. "This has hit us like a lead brick. I'm very distraught over the entire thing because this should not have happened."

Kennesaw officials were not aware of any violations related to Carroll when they hired him early this summer. But when the allegations surfaced, he was placed under the same sanctions he had faced at Richmond -- reduced recruiting visits off-campus and fewer phone calls to prospective student-athletes. Athletics officials later forbade him from recruiting prospective student-athletics altogether during July -- one of the heaviest recruiting months of the year for college athletes.

Carroll went through a competitive hiring process, but Kennesaw employed him quickly because the previous assistant coach had left at a time outside the traditional hiring season, Waples said.

Carroll applied to Kennesaw because he wanted to be closer to his family in Mississippi, and athletics officials there considered him an exemplary coach, Waples said. Kennesaw women's coach Colby Tilley was friends with Carroll and had coached Carroll's wife while she attended Auburn University in Montgomery (Ala.), Waples said.

Kennesaw's NCAA compliance director looked into the violations by calling NCAA officials, who declined to comment, and University of Richmond athletics officials, who were also not forthcoming about Carroll, Waples said.

Waples said that Carroll had been surprised by the university's announcement Monday. The Richmond Times-Dispatch originally reported Tuesday night on its Web site that Carroll was coaching basketball at Kennesaw.

"We are taking this very seriously," Waples said. "It could have been easily avoided. We would have investigated, and probably he would not have been hired.

"This will never happen again."

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Kennesaw University is clarifying and strengthening its hiring standards, which will include asking prospective employees to confirm their resume is correct, to indicate whether their past actions could be damaging to the university, and to explain whether they had been involved in any major NCAA violations, Waples said.

Carlin Hartman, a former coach for the Richmond men's basketball team, also resigned in the past year.

If the NCAA decides a major violation has been committed, the University of Richmond will likely be sanctioned to a two-year probationary period, meaning coaches would have to file reports to the NCAA -- a punishment Richmond athletics director Jim Miller said should not have an effect on basketball players.

Women's basketball coaches at Richmond had more than 90 text message conversations -- totaling more than 300 text messages -- with student-athletes who had committed to play at Richmond. The NCAA banned text messaging between college coaches and recruits in August 2007.

About 80 percent of those messages came from Carroll. Miller said Michael Shafer, the head women's basketball coach, had sent about 10 text messages, and Chris Mooney, the men's basketball coach, had not sent any. Other assistant coaches sent the rest of the text messages.

Richmond's investigation also found that between 50 and 90 phone calls beyond the NCAA's limit were made from men's basketball coaches to prospective student-athletes.

But the NCAA and the university disagree about whether some of the phones calls should count because they were less than two minutes and don't constitute official correspondence if a coach is leaving a voice message. Proving that case, however, will be difficult because the coaches have not kept detailed records of their calls to recruits, Miller said.

The university voluntarily reported the text-message and phone call violations in November 2007 to the NCAA.

Contact staff writer Dan Petty at dan.petty@richmond.edu

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