AthletiUniversity of Minnesota Director of Athletics Joel Maturi announced today sanctions against the Golden Gopher men’s tennis coaches resulting from the university’s and the National Collegiate Athletic Association’s (NCAA) investigation into allegations involving head coach David Geatz and assistant coach Adam Cohen. Geatz and Cohen were each placed on a leave of absence with pay on Feb. 21 following the university’s initial report to the NCAA.
“The NCAA informed us its investigation revealed secondary infractions by our men’s tennis program,” Maturi said. “Despite the NCAA’s classification of the violations, I have imposed serious disciplinary action against head coach David Geatz and assistant coach Adam Cohen for their involvement. Compliance with NCAA rules is important at Minnesota and a priority within the athletic department.”
The sanctions against Geatz and Cohen include an immediate 30-day suspension without pay; no salary increase for at least one year; mandatory NCAA training; suspension from participating in the tennis internship program for three years; annual audits of the tennis program, including summer employment of student-athletes; and a warning that additional violations of NCAA rules, university policies or department policies will result in further discipline, including possible termination. Geatz will also be excluded from multi- year contracts and only awarded annual renewable appointments. Assistant coach contracts at Minnesota are already currently awarded as one-year renewable appointments.
“There were six violations discovered during the investigation primarily involving improper benefits during summer internship programs and summer housing that were not in compliance with NCAA rules,” Maturi said. “We have taken the appropriate measures to correct the situation and ensure similar instances don’t occur in the future.”
The NCAA defines a secondary violation as a violation that is isolated or inadvertent in nature and provides only a minimal recruiting, competitive or other advantage and does not include any significant recruiting inducement or extra benefit. Multiple secondary violations by a member institution may collectively be considered as a major violation.
Geatz, a native of Grand Forks, N.D., began his 17th season at Minnesota this school year after taking over the program prior to the 1988-89 season.
“I apologize for putting the men’s tennis program and the University of Minnesota in this situation and I accept the sanctions,” Geatz said. “I have been fortunate to coach many tremendous young men during my 17 seasons and would never intentionally do anything to harm them or the integrity of the university.”
Interim head coach David Wheaton will remain in his current role until the 30-day suspension of Geatz and Cohen concludes.
“I commend David Wheaton for the exceptional job he has done as our interim head coach,” Maturi said. “He provided the type of leadership necessary to allow our student- athletes to have a quality experience during a time of uncertainty.”
The Golden Gophers lost to second-seeded Ohio State in the quarterfinals of the Big Ten Championship last Friday in Champaign, Ill., to finish the regular season with a 9-13 overall record. NCAA championship team and individual selections will be announced Wednesday afternoon.