UW-Whitewater investigation finds wrestling recruitment violations

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Andrea Anderson
September 23, 2014

WHITEWATER—A report released by UW-Whitewater detailing the investigation into the university's recruitment policies and practices for wrestling reveals violations from the head coach down to student staff.

The investigation led by the university's Matt Aschenbrener, assistant vice chancellor for enrollment management, and Elizabeth Watson, director of the Center for Students with Disabilities, recommends the university form an “external compliance committee to review polices and practices of student recruitment, eligibility, financial aid and other related compliance issues.”

The committee will address concerns about recruitment and compliance with National Collegiate Athletic Association and Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference regulations. The university will use an existing committee of staff and students as the compliance committee, said Amy Edmonds, UW-Whitewater athletic director.

Among the findings of violations or concerns listed by the investigators are:

-- Not keeping complete records of recruits.

-- Housing recruits off campus during visits.

-- Paying for recruits' transportation to and from the university.

-- Recruits participating in practices with coaching staff present.

All athletic teams follow the same recruiting rules set by the NCAA and WIAC, Edmonds said.

The university submitted its internal investigation and violations to the NCAA and will know what repercussions its faces from the NCAA as soon as next week, Edmonds said.

More than 50 interviews were completed or scheduled during the investigation that Edmonds said had “cooperative” subjects. Edmonds said the university is “glad we're able to identify some things we're able to do better.”

The report does not list specific information regarding the suspension of former head wresting coach Tim Fader in May or his contract not being renewed for another year.

The Rockford Register Star reported in August that Fader was released because of recruitment violations.

Edmonds would not comment on why or when Fader was released.

Fader was head coach since 2004, and he guided teams to a 117-67-3 record. The Warhawks were 20-3 last season, according to Gazette archives.

UW-Whitewater Chancellor Richard Telfer announced the suspension in a May email to faculty and staff after being notified of a Whitewater Police investigation into an incident involving a wrestling team recruit.

Telfer placed Fader on paid administrative suspension and suspended all wrestling recruitment activities. Recruitment resumed when new head coach Ned Shuck was hired in August.

Telfer ordered the internal investigation May 12 into the sport's recruitment practices. It was completed May 30, according to the records.

According to the Register Star, Fader received a phone call in April from a mother of a female student who told her mother she was sexually assaulted by a wrestling recruit on campus who stayed in town for an extra night after his recruit visit was over.

Fader spoke to the recruit and took him to Whitewater police.

The university told the former coach he should have reported it to the school and because he didn't he could lose his job. Fader was under the impression that if the police were contacted, the police then would contact the university automatically, he told the Register Star.

“I'm still at a loss at how reporting this alleged sexual assault to the police was the wrong thing to do,” Fader told the Register Star. “I was really confused, really disappointed. I really enjoyed my job, I enjoy UW-Whitewater. I'm really proud of my team, and I love the people here. How this can be grounds for dismissal, I just don't know.”

The investigation into the possible sexual assault is ongoing by Whitewater police, Dan Necci, Walworth County district attorney, said Monday. His office has copies of some police reports.

Necci confirmed the subject of the investigation is a wrestling recruit.

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