Alabama Head Coach Dennis Pursley Suspended Two Meets for NCAA Violations

Photo Courtesy: Alabama Athletics

TUSCALOOSA, Alabama, January 26. BEING a head coach of a Southeastern Conference swimming program right now is a bit of a dangerous place to be. Georgia head coach Jack Bauerle is currently banned indefinitely from competition while the Bulldogs work out some unexplained issues, and now Alabama head coach Dennis Pursley just drew a two-meet suspension from the Crimson Tide athletics department according to AL.com.

Alabama released a statement this weekend explaining that Pursley would not take part in yesterday’s meet against Emory, and will also not coach the team against Georgia next week in a bit of an ironic twist. That leaves assistant coaches at the helm of both Alabama and Georgia next week, unless Bauerle can clear up his issues in the next few days.

Alabama stated that Pursley was suspended due to NCAA violations classified “as NCAA Level III” according to AL.com. This is the new term for what previously was known as a “secondary” violation. Similar to Bauerle, however, Pursley is able to still coach practice.

AL.com further reports that Pursley had a department-high eight secondary violations in his first season at Alabama, and an extra set of secondary issues this year led Alabama to a ban. AL.com also alludes to the fact that multiple “Level III” violations can now be considered a “Level II” violation in and of itself.

Swimming World reached out to Pursley for comment, but has not received a response as of yet.

The NCAA released the following information regarding the new structure on violations:

Level I: Most egregious

A violation that seriously undermines or threatens the integrity of any of the NCAA enduring values (student-athlete success, the collegiate model, amateurism as a student model, competitive equity), including any violation that provides or is intended to provide a significant or extensive recruiting, competitive or other advantage, or significant or extensive impermissible benefit. Multiple Level II, III and/or IV violations may collectively be considered a Level I violation. Individual conduct that is unethical may be classified as a Level I violation, even if the underlying institutional violations are not considered Level I.

Level II: Serious

A violation that provides or is intended to provide a minimal to significant recruiting, competitive or other advantage; or includes a minimal to significant impermissible benefit; or involves a pattern of systemic violations in a particular area. Multiple Level III and/or Level IV violations may collectively be considered a Level II violation. Some limited individual conduct that is unethical or dishonest may be classified as a Level II violation, even if the underlying institutional violations are not considered Level II.

Level III: Those violations currently categorized as secondary violations

A violation that is isolated or limited in nature; provides no more than a minimal recruiting, competitive or other advantage; and does not include more than a minimal impermissible benefit. Multiple Level IV violations may collectively be considered a Level III violation.

Level IV: Minor or technical issues that do not rise to the level of a serious violation

An issue that is an action/inaction that is inadvertent and isolated; limited or technical in nature; and results in a negligible, if any, recruiting, competitive or other advantage of negligible, if any, impermissible benefit. Level IV issues will not impact eligibility.

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Author: Jason Marsteller

Jason Marsteller is the general manager of digital properties at Swimming World. He joined Swimming World in June 2006 as the managing editor after previous stints as a media relations professional at Indiana University, the University of Tennessee, Southern Utah University and the Utah Summer Games.

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