Temple's men's tennis team has been penalized for major and secondary violations by the NCAA's Division I Committee on Infractions, the first time any of the university's athletic programs has been cited for a major violation.

During the 2004-05 academic year, former head coach Bill Hoehne knowingly used an ineligible player, and even allowed him to compete under the name of another student-athlete who was eligible but had left the team.

The committee said it was "struck by the lengths the former head coach went to conceal the fact that he was allowing an ineligible student-athlete to compete fraudulently.'' For instance, the committee said the former coach either "mumbled'' the name of the student-athlete during formal prematch introductions or requested opponents to skip formal introductions altogether.

The secondary violations included impermissable textbook purchases.

"This type of conduct by a coach is deplorable and runs counter to the very principles of fair play, honesty and sportsmanship for which the NCAA stands," the NCAA said in its report.

Hoehne, who had been the coach (which is a part-time position) for 7 years, was fired after that season once Temple uncovered the violations. The school then reported the infractions to the NCAA. So the sanctions were not unexpected.

"We pride ourselves in complying with all the NCAA rules and regulations," said Temple athletic director Bill Bradshaw. "And fortunately, Temple boasts one of the strongest compliance records in NCAA Division I-A."

The university has been placed on 2 years probation, and the tennis team must vacate its three victories from 2004-05. It's also ineligible for the Atlantic 10 and NCAA Tournaments in 2007-08. The program never has advanced to the NCAAs.

If Hoehne should seek athletically related employment with another NCAA institution in the next 7 years, he and the institution must appear before the Committee on Infractions to determine whether his duties should be limited.

"We concur with the NCAA determination," Temple president Ann Weaver Hart, who was at New Hampshire when the violations occurred, said in a statement. "We are proud of our long-standing reputation for playing within the rules . . . We reviewed our compliance program and undertook appropriate and comprehensive remedial actions, and we completely reorganized and strengthened the eligibility certification and academic advising functions.

"Adhering to NCAA rules is essential. Everyone involved in Temple athletics will be vigilant in maintaining our compliance in the future and in holding our athletic standards to the highest standards." *