Feb. 11, 2009
PULLMAN, Wash. - At noon today the NCAA Committee on Infractions issued its report outlining violations at Eastern Washington University.
"We were aware, from our own research and Paul (Wulff), of potential NCAA infractions at Eastern Washington University during the time frame when Paul was the head football coach," said Washington State University Director of Athletics Jim Sterk. "Due to the ongoing NCAA investigation, we were prohibited from commenting on the situation until after the NCAA Committee on Infractions concluded its investigation and released its findings. We feel now, as we did then, that this was an institutional issue with Eastern Washington University, which is supported with today's NCAA release regarding the situation."
From 2003-07, Eastern Washington's football program was found to have exceeded the NCAA-mandated 11 coaches on its football staff, in addition to student assistants not enrolled in enough credits as per NCAA rules. Eastern Washington University had self-reported these violations while Wulff was still the school's head coach.
The NCAA penalized Eastern Washington for major violations in its football program. In addition to penalties handed down to Eastern Washington, penalties were also imposed on Wulff as he was the head coach. Those penalties include educational seminars each of the next three years and he will not be allowed to coach the Cougars for the first three days of the 2009 fall camp.
"During Paul's hiring process he was straightforward about these allegations," said Sterk. "We take these issues very seriously and believe Paul is a man of tremendous integrity and the situation derived more from a lack of institutional control at Eastern Washington, where limited compliance and academic staff were in place at that time. Paul was not found by the NCAA to have purposely violated NCAA rules in order to gain a recruiting advantage."
Wulff, who was hired as the Cougars' 31st head coach Dec. 11, 2007, acknowledged mistakes were made while at Eastern Washington University. "I understand the severity of the situation and at no time did I ever intentionally violate NCAA rules," said Wulff. "As head coach I take responsibility for the mistakes that occurred and accept the NCAA's penalties.
"I greatly appreciate the support of Washington State University, the athletic department and all Cougar fans throughout the past year," Wulff continued. "Now that I have been immersed for more than a year in the athletic department and the excellent compliance support it provides, I am confident situations such as these will never happen again."
"We have systems and resources in place at Washington State that help prevent occurrences like this from taking place now or in the future," Sterk said. "There is a culture of compliance here that fully embraces NCAA rules and regulations."