NCAA Strips Staten Island’s Pavel Buyanov of Titles, Bans Men’s Team From Championships

INDIANAPOLIS, Indiana, November 22. THE NCAA dropped the hammer on the College of State Island’s men’s swim team based on self-reported infractions spanning from 2006 until 2012 according to several local media reports.

The NCAA banned CSI from postseason competition for two years, and also put the team on probation for a period of four years. Additionally, all performances from six student-athletes have been stripped from the time of their ineligibility, including three-time NCAA champion Pavel Buyanov of Russia.

The bulk of these issues took place under the watch of former coach Oleg Soloviev, who was dismissed as the head coach and director of aquatics in November 2011. In summation, the NCAA Division III Committee on Infractions found that Soloviev helped skirt rules related to amateurism and extra benefits for international students, and also “provided false or misleading information” during his interviews with the NCAA.

With Buyanov losing his titles, Kenyon and St Olaf can now add an extra tick to their NCAA title tally sheet as Alexander Stoyel (2008, 200 breast), Nelson Westby (2008, 2009, 100 breast) slot up into the title spot.

NCAA Release on Punishment
The former College of Staten Island head men’s swimming coach did not follow NCAA ethical conduct rules and the college lacked control over its athletics department, according to findings by the NCAA Division III Committee on Infractions. The former coach facilitated the visa process for five international prospects, arranged for reduced-cost lifeguard certification classes for three student-athletes, signed leases for four student-athletes and provided cost-free housing for one student-athlete. Additionally, the former coach provided false or misleading information in his interviews with the NCAA and college, and advised student-athletes to provide false or misleading information during their interviews.

The college lacked control of its athletics department when it failed to provide adequate NCAA rules education, failed to monitor the recruitment activities of the former coach and failed to monitor student-athlete housing arrangements. Further, the college permitted certain student-athletes to compete without executing student-athlete statements, and it indirectly provided financial assistance to prospects when it gave a private swim club significantly lower swim lane rates than published for other organizations.

Penalties in this case include four years of probation, a two-year postseason ban for the men’s swimming program, a vacation of certain contests and a four-year show-cause for the former coach. If the former coach seeks an athletically-related position at an NCAA member school during that period, he and the school must appear before the Committee on Infractions to determine if the former coach’s athletically related duties should be limited.

In his recruitment of international student-athletes, the former coach provided statements of financial support to assist four student-athletes as they attempted to obtain visas allowing them to travel to, or remain in, the United States. The former coach arranged for three student-athletes to obtain their lifeguard certifications through a recertification course and at reduced costs, even though none of the three student-athletes were certified lifeguards before the recertification course. The student-athletes did not complete the required number of training hours, yet the instructor certified the student-athletes and backdated the certificates of two of the student-athletes so that it appeared they passed the course at times that pre-dated their arrival to the United States.

The former coach helped four student-athletes arrange off-campus housing. Had the former coach not signed the leases, they would not have been allowed to live in the apartments. The former coach also entered into a lease agreement on behalf of two student-athletes prior to their second year at the college. One student-athlete also stayed at the former coach’s home for two nights for free.

During his interviews, the former coach denied that he arranged housing for the four student-athletes and that he allowed one student-athlete to stay at his home for free, even though the student-athletes confirmed the former coach provided assistance. Further, the former coach told two student-athletes not to tell the NCAA that he was involved in arranging housing when asked during the investigation. Because of this and the benefits provided to the international student-athletes, the former head coach did not follow NCAA ethical conduct rules.

The college lacked control of its athletics department when it did not have international students execute an international student-athlete statement. Further, the college was unable to locate student-athlete statements for the men’s and women’s swimming and men’s tennis programs for 2010-11. The college did not track the housing arrangements for student-athletes despite having no on-campus housing and did not offer education to staff on the topic. Rules education within the athletics department was inadequate and was not provided to outside departments that worked with student-athletes. Additionally, the college failed to monitor the former coach’s recruiting activities, and a private swim club’s relationship with the athletics department.

The penalties, including those self-imposed by the college, include:

- Public reprimand and censure.
- Four years of probation from November 21, 2013 through November 20, 2017.
- A four-year show-cause order for the former coach. The public report contains further details.
- A two-year postseason ban for the men’s swimming team.
- A vacation of the conference Coach of the Year honors for the former coach from 2007 through 2011 (self-imposed by the college).
- A vacation of all individual records and performances of six student-athletes from the time they became ineligible for competition through the time their eligibility was reinstated.

The members of the Division III Committee on Infractions who reviewed this case include Dave Cecil, chair and associate vice president for financial aid at Transylvania University; Keith Jacques, attorney at Woodman, Edmands, Danylik, Austin, Smith and Jacques; Amy Hackett, director of athletics at University of Puget Sound; and Nancy Meyer, director of women’s athletics at Calvin College.

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Author: Archive Team

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