Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Breaking News: Wulff Committed Violations at EWU

UPDATE: Press release is out at official WSU site. Check it out here.

Thanks to Chris '04 for the tip in comments...but KREM is breaking a story that coach Wulff committed several violations while at EWU. Among the violations:

The violations cited by the NCAA committee include "impermissible participation by ineligible student-athletes in practice activities, the use of too many countable coaches, failure to monitor by the former head coach, and a lack of institutional control and failure to monitor by the university".

Wulff wasn't available for comment. For full press release information, check out the link above, or continue on to the next page of this post.

As ripped from, the entire press release:

NCAA Releases Findings

Feb. 11, 2009

PULLMAN, Wash. - At noon today the NCAA Committee on Infractions issued its report outlining violations at Eastern Washington University.

"We were aware, from our own research and Paul (Wulff), of potential NCAA infractions at Eastern Washington University during the time frame when Paul was the head football coach," said Washington State University Director of Athletics Jim Sterk. "Due to the ongoing NCAA investigation, we were prohibited from commenting on the situation until after the NCAA Committee on Infractions concluded its investigation and released its findings. We feel now, as we did then, that this was an institutional issue with Eastern Washington University, which is supported with today's NCAA release regarding the situation."

From 2003-07, Eastern Washington's football program was found to have exceeded the NCAA-mandated 11 coaches on its football staff, in addition to student assistants not enrolled in enough credits as per NCAA rules. Eastern Washington University had self-reported these violations while Wulff was still the school's head coach.

The NCAA penalized Eastern Washington for major violations in its football program. In addition to penalties handed down to Eastern Washington, penalties were also imposed on Wulff as he was the head coach. Those penalties include educational seminars each of the next three years and he will not be allowed to coach the Cougars for the first three days of the 2009 fall camp.

"During Paul's hiring process he was straightforward about these allegations," said Sterk. "We take these issues very seriously and believe Paul is a man of tremendous integrity and the situation derived more from a lack of institutional control at Eastern Washington, where limited compliance and academic staff were in place at that time. Paul was not found by the NCAA to have purposely violated NCAA rules in order to gain a recruiting advantage."

Wulff, who was hired as the Cougars' 31st head coach Dec. 11, 2007, acknowledged mistakes were made while at Eastern Washington University. "I understand the severity of the situation and at no time did I ever intentionally violate NCAA rules," said Wulff. "As head coach I take responsibility for the mistakes that occurred and accept the NCAA's penalties.
"I greatly appreciate the support of Washington State University, the athletic department and all Cougar fans throughout the past year," Wulff continued. "Now that I have been immersed for more than a year in the athletic department and the excellent compliance support it provides, I am confident situations such as these will never happen again."

"We have systems and resources in place at Washington State that help prevent occurrences like this from taking place now or in the future," Sterk said. "There is a culture of compliance here that fully embraces NCAA rules and regulations."


Selahcoug said...

Honestly, from what it sounds like, Wulff needs to be canned. Eastern is taking the punishment and Wulff skips away almost scott free. This will only make his recruiting more difficult and have a closer eye from the NCAA. It would absolutely kill the program right now and I just can't take that, but these don't appear to just be honest mistakes.

Sedihawk said...

Let's get more details Selah. Letting inelgibile players practice and having a couple of extra coaches on the staff seems odd, but it's not drugs, firearms, dirty recruiting or playing ineligibile players in games. Let's get the full story with their explanation. But he certainly has some explainin' to do.

Anonymous said...

WSU needs to be 100000% clear that this crap hasn't been going on at wsu since second ONE of the Wulff era and that we are running the cleanest program in history. Wulff better come clean set the record straight that he was part of the problem and not the whole problem (IT NEVER IS JUST THE HEAD COACH PEOPLE IF IT WAS THEN EWU WOULDN'T BE ON PROBIE!).

Big Smooth said...

Amazing that they hammer poor little EWU for too many kids practicing yet Reggie Bush got homes, cars, cash, jobs for his family at USC?

Big Smooth said...

EWU was so poor they didn't even have a compliance officer during that time. Wulff had responsibilities beyond just being the head coach. Five of the nine violations were self-reported, meaning EWU knew they blew it. Knowing the kind of character Wulff has, a lot of this will be explained away as honest mistakes/oversight.

Selahcoug said...

You are right Sadie, I should wait for his statements, but after reading that the coach failed to report the violations after discovering them is quite telling. Of course that could have something to do with the compliance officer at EWU. Anyway you look at it though, as long as Wulff is at WSU or anywhere else for that matter, other schools will use it against him in recruting, not only to kids, but to their parents.

Longball said...

Umm, so he had extra coaches and some GA's were taking too many credits? This tiff isn't exactly recruiting violations, or giving kids jobs they never have to show up for, or houses to their families, or all the actual BAD things we know for a fact schools like Oklahoma, USC, UW and others are doing to gain an unfair advantage. The news may be shocking, but if you actually read past the headline, this stuff is pretty benign. IT just further discredits the already rediculous NCAA for taking such a hard line with EWU, while Oklahoma and USC and the like are still allowed to field a team. Hilarious. The message here is clear, "Sorry little EWU, we are going to make an example out of YOU because it costs us 0$ and 0 TV ratings. Ho hum.

'03CouveCoug said...

We Coug fans need to just calm down until some of the details come to light. Let’s not jump to any conclusions and start going on a witch hunt. Eastern didn’t even have a compliance officer for pity’s sakes…WSU has one of the finest in the country. I have no doubt that CPW as been very well versed in these matters since arriving at WSU, and now it sounds like he’ll have even more training in his back pocket (on his own dime, no less).

The fact of the matter is that EWU did not do THEIR due diligence in regards to compliance. While it is a coach’s responsibility to have a handle on the rules, he or she cannot possibly be expected to know all of the horse manure rules that the NCAA comes up with. In my mind, the majority of this mess falls squarely at the feet of the Eastern Athletic Dept. I must echo Longball's thoughts though, pretty poopy that the NCAA is making an example out of little ol' EWU while the likes of U$C, Boomer-Sooner, THEE Ohio State University and the likes continue to get away with highway robbery.

It will be interesting to see how this all shakes out, but I honestly don’t think this ends up having a big effect on WSU Football or CPW’s credibility. However, I have been wrong before! We shall see…

Big Smooth said...

Oh, juicy story! KJR wonks are all over it! Leading off their news with WULFF IN TROUBLE AT WSU!!!!

Let's see.

Drugs? No.
Gambling? No.
Recruiting violations? No.
Cheating? No.
Grade changing? No.
Improper benefits to players, like jobs, cash, guns, cars? No.
Rape, murder, assualt? No.

Ineligible players practiced and student coaches who didn't have enough credits coached.


So the guy was over his head on the ticky-tack stuff, as "Longball" has pointed out. Obviously rules are rules, and they were broken, but this is hardly murder one.

And I find it laughable to the nth degree that any other coach could use any of this against Wulff at WSU!

Opposing coach: "Ohhhh, you are interested in WSU? Stay away from Wulff! He cheats! Back at EWU he let student coaches coach when they didn't technically have enough credits! Back at EWU he let a few players practice when they technically shouldn't have been allowed at the time!"

Family of recruit: ".....and?"

Opposing coach: "Uh....that's it....But isn't that terrible?!"

Family of recruit: " Unless he's doing bad stuff now at WSU?"

Opposing coach: " He's not."

Family of recruit: "...why are you telling us this again?"

Opposing coach: "Uh....I guess I really don't know."

Family of recruit: "...oh. Well thanks for stopping by. Have a safe trip. "

Look, WSU is as compliant as you will find and Wulff has done a fantastic job of cleaning house since he took over. Everyone is eligible, great team GPA. Consider the condition of the team under Doba and where it is now. We are still in good hands.

Sedihawk said...

Word of advice Big Smooth....or is it Sudden Sam? Anyway, do NOT LISTEN to KJR unless it's Ian Furness! Otherwise it's an endless stream of UW honking by their "wonks", as you said yourself. They are the UW flagship station, what do you expect they would say?

'90 coug said...

fire this chump. as if last season wasn't reason enough. this guy will never make us win. i've already seen enough.

'03CouveCoug said...

You gonna cut the check for $3+ million over the next 4 years to keep paying Doba, Wulff and Wulff's replacement '90 coug?

Come on, get real would ya? Will you just give it a little time to see what the details are? For crying out loud, CPW hasn't done ANYTHING wrong at WSU! You are certainly entitled to your opinion, but don't you think you're jumping to conclusions just a little bit?

Soze said...

As Cougars, lets not be two-faced on this issue. Many people on this blog made a big deal out of Sarks letting recruits come out of the Husky tunnel with smoke and we said it was a big deal.

I'm all Cougar, all the time but this is a big deal, call it what it is and hope for the best.

('90 Coug - fire him, and hire who?!?!?!)

Longball said...

Sorry Soze, but the only double standard here is the NCAA. If you seriously believe that having an inelligible kid at practice, or a student coach taking too few classes is in the same league with paying your star QB for a job he never shows up to (OU), or hooking your star RB's family up with housing(USC), then please explain to me why only EWU is losing post season play while OU and USC skate? .

This is not Cougar homerism, afterall, this won't hurt the Cougs one bit (Wulff misses 3 practices and takes a rules class). But this is terrible for EWU. The bottom line is that the rules are clearly enforced unequally.

'03CouveCoug said...

It's exactly as you said earlier, Longball. The bottom line is that it's all ABOUT the bottom line to the NCAA. U$C, OU, and the other major cheaters make the NCAA money hand over fist. They can preach from their ivory tower to the likes of EWU because they don't make the NCAA any cash, so who gives a turkey. As we see, time and again, it's all about the $$$.

LouisianaCoug said...

Well, this is certainly unfortunate. It doesn't really matter if what he did is no big deal. It will get blown up and used against us, period.

Firing him would be ridiculous. However, there are a lot of loyal Cougs who thought this was a reach of a hire to begin with. After the Apple Cup, I want to see what the guy can do with his guys.

However, it certainly seems that this will put more pressure on him to win sooner. Hypothetically, what happens if we endure another 2008ish season? Any thoughts?

ptowncoug said...

I worked at Wazzu's compliance office and now am a lawyer. NCAA compliance is not an easy gig, I can tell you that. WSU is special as it puts a emphasis on compliance due to mainly the baseball issues that stemmed from Bobo's era, I believe.
I have been to other institutions and seen first hand their lack of control by the compliance office. Think about the # of athletes and you have a couple of staff people overseeing all of them and the minute details of when someone can start practicing, etc.
I thought about applying to EWU to work in their compliance office, but decided not to because they are a small univ without the funding to have enough personnel in place to look at everything.
I feel for them, but if NCAA says it is an institutional thing, then I believe them and can understand how this really doesn't fall too much on the shoulders of the coach with maybe the exception of having too many coaches on staff because a coach should know how many coaches he is allowed.

Hooty McBoob said...

CAUTION: This comment contains language that could be considered offensive to some people. Particularly to people who are big pussies...

To the dipshits who have posted already or are considering posting in the future, calling for Wulff to be fired over this issue: Please put your heads back up your asses and roll back under the rock from which you crawled. That is simply ridiculous on multiple levels.

Sedihawk said...

Louisiana, if we endure another 2008-ish year next year then the heat would have to be considerable, don't you think? But don't worry, we won't see another year like that, maybe ever. God I hope not anyway! I can't fathom another year like that. They will be a lot better next year.

Now that we know the details, and it's been explained, who the heck can possibly say he should be fired? For what? Some things were overlooked at a cash-strapped football program? EWU self-reported a lot of this stuff so they obviously knew they were guilty, not just coach Wulff.

Ptown, good points on compliance. I can't imagine how much would go into something like that. Clearly this is all oversight from an athletic dept that was understaffed and/or not looking at things correctly. Wulff had responsibilities too and he didn't handle some of these things correctly, but he's being penalized for that. This thing will be forgotten when Spring ball starts up. We'll be reminded of it here and there, and when camp opens next fall it will be mentioned that Wulff is away from the team for a few days, but that will be it. Period.

And "big smooth" is right. Any coach that even tries to use this against us in recruiting will get laughed out of the living room. WSU's current compliance record with the football team speaks for itself. And Wulff's doing all the right things, with all players eligible right now and one of the best team GPA's ever.

Finally, Soze - did we actually make a huge deal out of Sarkisian's fog machine stuff? I thought we didn't really say much of anything about it, other than laugh about the ridiculousness about the whole thing?

Longball said...

Just got back from reading the message boards on Cougfan and I gotta say... Coug fans, get a grip. The statement released by Wulff and Sterk nips this in the bud pretty neatly, including that Wulff was up front about this during the hiring process and the NCAA has found that he did not intentionally cheat at all. I think its hilarious that all the hysterical commenters calling for CPW's head from up on their high horses, are now nowhere to be found after reading the statement that cooler heads begged them to wait for before rushing to judgement.

Here is something that wind bags like '90 Coug and KJR chumps are going to HATE... the facts: a coach working without a compliance office, violated an obscure rule on accident, discovered it and reported it.

Oh, and he just landed a great recruiting class without a single incident.

Selahcoug said...

Looks like it is mainly on EWU and their lack of institutional control. Wulff isn't totaly clean on this as Ptown said, he should have known how many coaches he could have, but he did own up to it and received some penalty. In the long run, it will probably make him better as he will check into everything before he does it. I am amazed that info didn't leak to the media that there as at least an investigation going on.

Soze said...

Longball, I wasn't comparing this to USC or OU... just UW's "violations." I completely agree with you that EWU gets screwed while the NCAA turns its backs when the USC's and OU's of the world have violations.

Sedi, I may have jumped the gun there. I don't really it was made a "big deal" here but I do remember some people saying that it was a sign of things to come for the Dawgs. Which I thought was a joke at the time; even moreso now that Wulff has his own "problems."

All in all, this is a GREAT blog and I'm not ripping anyone here. I just want everyone to keep things in perspective and chill out. I just didn't say it as eloquently as Hooty. :)

BH said...

As long as we start Swogger over Brink next fall we'll be fine.

ptowncoug said...

Hey Selah, do you know Seth from Ptown? Interested in watching the game this Saturday?
To go a little deeper on NCAA compliance there are really three separate things going on. You have coach compliance, which is really being responsible for not committing recruiting violations (when and how to contact a prospect, etc) and not practicing too many hours a week. There is the academic compliance side where s-as eligibility is based upon NCAA clearinghouse guidelines (min SAT and core GPA) and the university's entrance requirements and then general compliance by the compliance office that really oversees those two plus oversight of all the rules.
Generally coaches have no clue whether a s-a is academically eligible to practice or play until its academic compliance says so. If academic compliance gets it wrong or misses the boat, which happens a good amount because of human error, a coach ultimately suffers because he has to rely on the info.
Simply put, you have a 3-legged stool, and if one isn't doing there job, it makes everyone else look like an idiot.

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WSU Football said...

Seleah, I wouldn't go so far as to say EWU had lack of institutional control. The violations were all just logistical in nature and and are really pretty minor. They were also self-reported by EWU, and the Cougs knew about them when Wulff was hired.

There's simply no comparison with the situation at the Ewe.

Selahcoug said...

Hey Ptown, I don't know Seth, at least I don't think so. I will be in Spokane Saturday, otherwise I would love to watch the game. Next week I will be around though.

WSU Football, the lack of instatutional control were the NCAA's words, not mine. I think it all stems from them basially being warned before when their basketball team got into some trouble.