According to a report from the Wichita Eagle, the Wichita State baseball team may have received “improper clothing and apparel benefits” under the now-fired coach Gene Stephenson.
In a statement released by the athletic department, the school recognized the charges and is working towards making sure they are in compliance across the board.
“We take this matter very seriously,” athletic director Eric Sexton said in the statement. “Our commitment to institutional integrity is unwavering and we must hold everyone associated with our athletics programs accountable for lapses in judgment. We believe this to be an isolated case limited to our baseball program. However, we will look into this exhaustively to ensure our compliance with the Missouri Valley Conference and NCAA rules.”
Several former players have denied that anything improper occurred under Stephenson, describing the long-time coach (36 seasons) as by-the-book.
“All the players were supposed to get the same thing,” Todd Sullivan, the student equipment manager for the Shockers from 2006-12, said. “If somebody lost a garment, I would have to go to Gene to ask for a replacement. If we had anything extra lying around, I would have to go to Gene and ask permission. Gene was very stingy with handing out stuff.”
No word on any punishment from the NCAA or school as of yet.