Iowa puts volleyball coach on leave, reports NCAA violations

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IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) — Iowa put women's volleyball coach Bond Shymansky on paid administrative leave Monday after reporting what its athletic director called serious rules violations to the NCAA.

Athletic director Gary Barta said he took those steps after a two-week investigation by an outside law firm into allegations raised by a former athlete.

Barta declined to elaborate on the nature of the allegations at a news conference, citing the pending NCAA investigation. But he said they were likely to be considered Level 1 or Level 2 violations, meaning they gave at least a minimal recruiting, competitive or other advantage to the Hawkeyes.

"I won't talk specifically about what it was, but I am comfortable enough to say that everyone who works in college athletics is very familiar with this line that can't be crossed," he said, adding that the violations were not criminal in nature.

Iowa named assistant coach Vicki Brown as the interim head coach. Barta said the 30-day leave upon which Shymansky was placed is consistent with the coach's contract, which requires a 30-day written notice if the university plans to terminate him for cause. Barta said he planned to decide on the coach's future with the program soon.

Shymansky, 47, didn't immediately return phone and text messages from The Associated Press seeking comment.

Barta hired Shymansky, who previously coached at Marquette, in 2014 to turn around a struggling program. Iowa went 15-16 under Shymansky in 2018, his fifth season in charge of the Hawkeyes. The team won 18 games in 2017, its most since 1994. Shymansky's contract runs through the 2022 season and pays him a base salary of $215,000.

Barta said Iowa learned of the allegations on May 1 and hired the New York-based Bond, Schoeneck & King law firm to investigate. He said the investigation found that no other Iowa staff members or players were involved in or aware of the violations.

Barta, who has long operated under the mantra of "Win, Graduate, Do it Right," said staff and current and incoming players were informed of the situation Monday and reacted with anger and sadness.

"Clearly in this case we have an employee who came up short on the 'Do it Right' part," he said.

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