UMHB reports NCAA violations, suspends coach

The University of Mary Hardin-Baylor Crusaders football team finished the regular season undefeated and secured the American Southwest Conference title. Amy Carlton, commissioner of the American Southwest Conference, presents the trophy to Coach Pete Fredenburg. (UMHB Photo)

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BELTON—The University of Mary Hardin-Baylor reported rule violations to the NCAA regarding benefits provided to two football players and suspended the university’s head football coach.

UMHB, a Division III school, self-reported the violations April 9 to the NCAA’s enforcement office.

“The infractions do not involve sexual misconduct, academic fraud or financial aid,” a statement issued by the university April 16 said. “The violations are, by NCAA rule definition, major infractions. Based on its investigation, the university believes there was no intention to violate or circumvent the rules.

“There was no effort to hide or deny the conduct, which resulted in extra benefits to student-athletes, and the benefits were not provided with an intention to obtain either a recruiting advantage or competitive advantage.”

UMHB suspended Pete Fredenburg as head football coach for three months without pay and for the first three games of the 2018 football season. Defensive coordinator Larry Harmon will serve as interim head coach during this period.

“I’ve spent my entire career as a football coach investing in kids,” said Coach Fredenburg. “In this instance, I unintentionally broke an NCAA rule. I regret this and I accept responsibility.”

The university also identified possible secondary violations outside the football program, which are being reviewed by the NCAA.

“The university regrets that violations occurred and has taken corrective actions to ensure they are not repeated. The university will fully cooperate with the NCAA as they review this matter, and the university will not comment further until the NCAA’s process has been completed,” the statement UMHB issued said.

“UMHB is committed to upholding both the spirit and letter of NCAA rules, and we will use this as a learning opportunity,” President Randy O’Rear said. “The university will continue its tradition of excellence and hold itself to the highest standards of compliance and integrity.”

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