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WTAMU president issues statement on Carthel dismissal

West Texas A&M University President Dr. J. Pat O'Brien
West Texas A&M University

The president of West Texas A&M University, J. Patrick O'Brien, has issued a statement clarifying his position on the recent dismissal of former West Texas A&M head foodball coach Don Carthel.

The statement, issued Aug. 23, follows in its entirety.

"All coaches and student-athletes commit to abide by NCAA rules that govern college sports. We entrust a great deal of responsibility to our coaches, and we expect them to mentor our student-athletes appropriately. Providing false information and pressuring students to provide false information when asked about pertinent details of a possible NCAA violation is both poor judgment for a coach and a poor example for our student-athletes.

The initial violation of concern occurred at a recent Texas Rangers game. Prior to the game, Coach Carthel was provided direction on how to handle tickets for student-athletes. Unfortunately, these guidelines were not followed and student-athletes had their eligibility unwittingly put in jeopardy. The student-athletes paid an amount determined by their head coach, which was not equal to fair market value as required by the NCAA.

In our efforts to ensure that all NCAA guidelines had been followed, we sought to verify appropriate payment had been made for the tickets. During this process, we were provided false and misleading information by Coach Carthel on numerous occasions. Further, the students were later told to provide false statements regarding the actual payment for the tickets. Both of these actions by Coach Carthel were a clear violation of NCAA Article 10.1 (d).

As a result, the university made a decision to relieve Coach Carthel of his coaching duties yesterday and we stand by this decision.

A separate series of NCAA violations occurred within the football program last year, for which we filed a report with the NCAA in early summer and for which we self-imposed penalties. This report is still under review by the NCAA.

Once our work with the NCAA surrounding these issues is complete, we will provide additional information. "

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