Chris Weller, women's basketball coach at the University of Maryland, has been reprimanded by the Atlantic Coast Conference Executive Committee for violating an NCAA rule prohibiting prospective student-athletes from traveling with the team during the season.
Weller, who reported the violation to Maryland Athletic Director Dick Dull last December, provided transportation early last season for a student at the University College in College Park for team trips to Duke, St. Joseph's and Southern California. Because University College, a division of the University of Maryland system, does not have an athletic program and the player involved was not a member of the basketball team, she was considered a prospective student-athlete.
The player involved was "scheduled to be admitted in January (1985)," Dull said.
The university did not name the player but the Evening Sun in Baltimore reported it was Deana Tate, a point guard.
As a result of the violation, Weller is prohibited from off-campus recruiting and evaluation until July 1, 1986. Those duties will be assumed by Weller's assistant coaches, although Weller can talk to recruits on campus.
Weller yesterday declined to comment on whether she thought the ACC was too severe in its punishment. "All I will say is that it was self-reported and unintentional," she said. "There was no delay in the report."
Dull said yesterday that Weller reported the transportation incidents after a faculty member suggested there might be an NCAA violation. Dull said he then notified the ACC and NCAA "immediately thereafter."
"It's something that should not have occurred," said Dull. "She didn't realize that the player was a 'recruited student-athlete.' If you look at Chris, she has the reputation for honesty and integrity."
Dull, who said the women's team has not been cited for any violation since he came to the athletic department in 1975, at first declared the player (who is now at the university proper) ineligible but is now trying to "restore her eligibility within the next few weeks" through the NCAA. Until she is eligible, Dull said she can practice with the team but not play in games.