Marquette Golden Eagles head coach Buzz Williams announced the termination of assistant Scott Monarch on Friday. The dismissal comes on the heals of recruiting rules violations the program self-reported to the NCAA. Apparently Monarch was giving some free swag to an unnamed potential prospect. Williams will serve a one-game suspension as the school imposed sanctions on their own program.
Williams had the following to say, ”When I was allowed to review the report earlier this week, I was deeply saddened to learn of an error in judgment of one of my assistants and closest friends,” Buzz Williams said in a statement. “I take personal responsibility for what happens in this program and realize we must be role models to both our team and the entire university. Our commitment has always been and will always be to operate this program at the highest level of integrity in the Marquette and Jesuit tradition.”
Larry Williams, the school’s Athletic Director, told the Associated Press the following: ”Our intent here is to build a national championship-caliber program, and we don’t want to put it at risk for something as controllable and as fundamental as integrity,” Larry Williams told the AP. “We’re confident that this is one of the building blocks toward that pursuit of a national championship-caliber team.”
Williams wasn’t done, ”The violations that are more serious are the multiple instances of untruthfulness,” Larry Williams said. “The NCAA has as probably its core value the requirement that anybody that works in college athletics be truthful, and you can understand that. We’re educating young men and women. If it isn’t built on a bedrock of integrity, then it’s going to lead to problems. So the NCAA takes the obligation to be honest really, really seriously.”
Buzz Williams is said to have no direct knowledge of Monarch’s wrongdoing. However, Larry Williams said the suspension was for the lack of Buzz’s ability to “maintain and control” his employees. ”With each head coach, there is the specific obligation — you’re responsible for the actions of your staff,” Larry Williams said. “We want you to own that, to own the responsibility. And within doing that, you are creating a culture or compliance where everybody appreciates the requirement that people play by the rules.” Marquette has had it’s fair amount of troubles in the athletic program.
Williams is replacing former AD Steve Cottingham, who stepped down in June 2011 as school and athletic department officials faced questions about how they handled two separate cases of alleged sexual assault. Williams does think the self-reporting of the violation will show that Marquette means do to things ethically.
Here is Williams on if the sanctions will have a negative impact on how the program is received, ”No, quite the opposite,” he said. “I think what it demonstrates to anyone reading (about) it is Marquette is diligent in how they go about their business. It’s an institution based on a high level of integrity and they don’t compromise their integrity at any bend in the road. That’s the way that I hope it’s interpreted. People in this world, we all make mistakes, but we have to be accountable when we do make mistakes and we have to own it, and learn from it, and move forward.”
That’s unfortunately the landscape of the college sports offseason. Wake up, turn on the computer, and see yet another school(s) doing something they shouldn’t have. At least the Golden Eagles are taking this one in stride.