Athletic department reports two violations, track coach resigns

Editor’s Note: This article contains quotes from The Times Daily.

The North Alabama athletics department plans to report secondary violations about two ineligible athletes during last Saturday’s track meet.

Athletic director Mark Linder said the university is taking time to look over the violations.

“I can confirm that there were two violations involving our student athletes,” Linder said. “We are now sorting through the process with our compliance office and are investigating internally to get the facts of the case. We then will report our findings to the NCAA with self-imposed penalties.”

Linder also said one athlete was academically ineligible and she competed in four events. The other athlete had not been cleared by the NCAA Clearinghouse and the athlete traveled with the team which is considered a secondary violation.

The interim cross country and track coach Heath White decided to step down from his position, but the resignation was not directly involved with NCAA violations.

White received the job last April, but he said he made mistakes with this past track meet.

“I love coaching, but I’ve struggled with the administrative side because I’m only doing this part time,” White said. “I was doing everything right ethically and there was certainly no intent to cheat. I just made some mental errors.”

White noticed the mistake and reported it to compliance director Todd Vardaman as soon as he could.

The track program is in its last season at UNA with women’s golf and beach volleyball taking its place in the 2019 athletic season.

Assistant cross country and track coach Olivia Brady will become the new interim coach, but assistant compliance director Sherry Kennemer will help the team with administrative duties when the team travels for meets.