April 4, 2006
PULLMAN, Wash. -- - Washington State University Director of Athletics Jim Sterk announced that the university has completed its review of the allegations that head baseball coach Don Marbut misrepresented his academic credentials. Based upon the findings, an official letter of reprimand has been issued to Coach Marbut and is being placed in his personnel file.
A letter of reprimand is formal disciplinary action. As such, while not as severe as suspension or termination, it is more severe than verbal counseling or a verbal reprimand.
"The integrity of our programs and the ethical conduct of our personnel are of the utmost importance to us," said Sterk. "We have reviewed allegations against Coach Marbut and as much documentation as is available to us to substantiate those allegations. Following this review, I have determined that there is sufficient cause to discipline Coach Marbut for his actions. Most importantly, I want to ensure that there is no misunderstanding as to the expectations of personnel within the athletics department at Washington State University."
Marbut has been accused of misrepresenting his academic credentials at WSU. Sterk determined that this charge has merit. Marbut filled out a biographical data sheet following his hiring as an assistant coach at WSU in 2003 in which he wrote the word "certificate" on a form that asked for the name of degree or certificate associated with each academic program attended. He also listed on his resume, under the heading "Education," "Teaching certification - k-8 Saint Martins College, 1998."
Marbut did enroll in and complete one year of academic course work in the teacher certification program at Saint Martin's in 1998. However, he did not complete his student teaching and therefore never completed the program.
"Any misrepresentation of academic credentials is a serious matter, especially at an academic institution," said Sterk. "While Coach Marbut contends that the errors on these forms were unintentional, that does not constitute a defense in my opinion. I have made it clear to him that this is not acceptable."
Some other allegations against Coach Marbut concern his performance as athletic director at Edmonds Community College. The state auditor issued a report that covered the period July 1, 2002, through June 30, 2004. Coach Marbut was the athletic director for the first year of that period. The report found that the college's athletic department lacked adequate internal controls to monitor its financial and operating activities and that some athletic department employees, including Coach Marbut, had used or authorized the use of the college's fields without charge.
The audit report has been submitted to the Executive Ethics Board, the state agency charged with enforcing the state's Ethics Act, for review. Athletic director Sterk stated that WSU will hold its determination as to what action it should take regarding these allegations until the Ethics Board has completed its handling of the matter.
Sterk stated: "In view of the corrective action that we have taken, and the way in which he has conducted himself as a member of the athletic staff in the two-and-a-half years he has been at WSU, I believe that Coach Marbut can continue to coach at Washington State University. This is with the understanding, however, that there will be no misconduct in the future. Our coaches must set the highest example for all of our students; I will expect Coach Marbut to comply with this standard in all of his conduct as long as he is associated with the baseball program at Washington State University."