By Pat Harty
IOWA CITY, Iowa – Iowa Athletic Director Gary Barta held a press conference on May 20th to announce that Iowa volleyball coach Bond Shymansky had been placed on a 30-day paid administrative leave for what Barta said was a significant NCAA violation.
Iowa officials have said nothing publicly since then, but that should soon change, perhaps as soon as Wednesday.
Shymansky’s 30-day administrative leave reportedly ends on either Wednesday or Thursday. An announcement concerning his job status is expected to be made shortly afterwards.
Multiple sources have told Allhawkeyes.com that the 47-year old Shymansky was fired more than two weeks ago, and that UI officials are waiting for the 30-day administrative leave to expire before announcing it publicly.
Sources also have told Allhawkeyes that Shymansky was terminated for giving improper benefits, which in this case, was money to a player.
One source even read a text message sent to him from Shymanksy in which Shymansky acknowledged that he had been fired the day before.
Barta said the allegations of a violation were brought to light by a former UI student-athlete on May 1. Iowa then informed the NCAA.
Barta declined to comment at the May 20th press conference on the specific reasons for why Shymansky was put on leave.
However, Barta did say that he expected the violation to be considered “Level 1” or “Level 2” by the NCAA’s violation structure.
The NCAA defines a “Level 1” violation as a “severe breach of conduct” or “violations that seriously undermine or threaten the integrity of the NCAA collegiate model as set forth in the Constitution and bylaws, including any violation that provides or is intended to provide a substantial or extensive recruiting, competitive or other advantage, or a substantial or extensive impermissible benefit.”
The NCAA defines a “Level 2” violation as a “significant breach of conduct” or “violations that provide or are intended to provide more than a minimal but less than a substantial or extensive recruiting, competitive or other advantage; includes more than a minimal but less than a substantial or extensive impermissible benefit; or involves conduct that may compromise the integrity of the NCAA collegiate model as set forth in the Constitution and bylaws.”
“I’m comfortable enough to say that everybody who works in college athletics is very familiar with where this line is that can’t be crossed,” Barta said.
The University of Iowa paid an outside lawyer $280 per hour to investigate the NCAA violations. The firm — Bond, Schoeneck & King — came to Iowa’s campus and began its investigation on May 6, according to Barta.
Shymansky took over a struggling Iowa program in 2014 after having been the head coach at Marquette and Georgia Tech.
He has since turned a perennial conference cellar dweller into a respectable program. Shymansky has a 72-82 overall record at Iowa, including 15-16 this past season. It marked the third consecutive season that Iowa has compiled at leas 15 victories.
Iowa’s 2019 recruiting class was also ranked 24th nationally by prepvolleyball.com. That is Iowa's highest ranking in program history.
Associate head coach Vicki Brown was named the interim coach in May and will hold that position until a conclusion is reached.
A graduate of Iowa City High School, Shymansky was considered a great fit as the Iowa volleyball coach, given his ties to Iowa City and his success as a head coach.
He earned a Bachelor of Arts in Communications from Iowa in 1995 and a Master of Arts in English Education in 1997 from the UI. From 1991-93, Shymansky was a setter and outside hitter on the UI men's volleyball club team.
Shymansky's current contract runs through 2022.