Online now and running in Saturday’s print version of The Eagle
BY TONY ADAME
The Wichita Eagle
Recruiting violations with two Division I transfers have led to punishment for Newman women’s basketball coach Jaime Green by the university and a report to the NCAA.
Green used a player’s credit-card information to pay parking fines for Marshay White at Central Florida and Kellindra Zackery at South Carolina in June 2010 in order to get their transcripts released to Newman, an NCAA Division II school.
According to the player, who has since transferred, Green approached her because the coach paying the fines would be a violation of NCAA rules.
“My decisions and actions have resulted in potential secondary violations that occurred prior to my first season at Newman University,” Green said in a statement. “I have accepted responsibility for these actions as well as the self-imposed university penalties that have been issued. I am especially thankful to Newman University administration for guiding and educating me through the NCAA compliance processes.”
Newman athletic director Vic Trilli said Thursday that Green served a one-game suspension Dec. 17, lost two book scholarships, had the amount of recruiting visits reduced from an unlimited number to eight, must attend an NCAA compliance seminar in May, and must meet with Newman’s compliance director twice per semester.
Trilli said he learned about the allegations last January and reported them to the NCAA in March. He said the NCAA has yet to make a final ruling, which is classified by Newman as a secondary violation.
“As soon as we had the information in hand, we went to the Heartland (Conference) and to the NCAA,” Trilli said. “We feel like we did everything we could.”
White and Zackery came to Wichita to play for the Jets, but White left school before playing a game and Zackery was suspended earlier this month after a drug arrest and sat out most of last season with a knee injury.
Trilli corroborated the accounts of the former player, who talked to The Eagle while asking her name not be used.
“She (Green) told me to keep quiet about it,” the former player said. “She said she’d pay me back in cash but I shouldn’t say anything because it could get her in trouble.”
After the tickets were paid using the player’s credit card — $328 at Central Florida and $40 at South Carolina — a current Newman player, Samantha Soyez, approached the former player and handed her $500 and said she’d decided to pay the tickets herself. The former player gave Soyez back the difference.
Soyez is the daughter of Newman women’s assistant Gayla Soyez.
Trilli would not say if Newman’s investigation determined who actually paid the parking tickets, other than he gave the NCAA bank records for Gayla Soyez, Samantha Soyez and Green dating back to 2007.
Green and Gayla Soyez were issued letters of reprimand.
“Overall, I am pleased with how the athletic department has handled this incident. They addressed the matter head on,” Newman president Dr. Noreen Carocci said. “They sought out and received guidance from the NCAA, conducted a thorough internal investigation and issued a report to the NCAA which included self-imposed sanctions. I appreciate their initiative to deal with the issues honestly and as quickly as possible. We have yet to hear back from the NCAA following our report submitted last March.”
Tony Adame covers small-college sports. Reach him at 316-268-6284 or firstname.lastname@example.org.