Former Iowa volleyball coach Bond Shymansky fired back at the Iowa Athletic Department on Thursday afternoon with a statement of his own.
In it, he basically states that he provided rent — which is still a major infraction under NCAA guidelines — as an act of ‘compassion’ to a student athlete. He released the statement through his legal council, the Hartung Schroeder Law Firm.
The statement (emphasis mine):
Former University of Iowa Head Women’s Volleyball Coach Bond Shymansky acknowledges that an NCAA violation was committed when he provided financial assistance to a team member during the summer of 2017 to cover her rent.
“For the past month I have cooperated with the University’s request to remain silent regarding the underlying basis for my suspension. Now that I have been terminated, it is time to shed light on the details and end any wild speculation.
I did not discriminate against, abuse, or harass anyone – and there has never been an allegation of sexual misconduct against me. In an act of compassion, I advanced funds to cover a young woman’s unanticipated summer expenses in 2017. She came to Iowa City expecting to be on full scholarship, but when that status changed, she had nowhere else to turn. I have prided myself on running an NCAA compliant program.
However, I understand that I didn’t “do it right” by NCAA standards in this one instance and I am prepared to accept whatever sanction is deemed appropriate by the NCAA.
I was born and raised a “Hawkeye” and wish to stay a part of this great community. I know big things are in store for Coach Brown and the rest of the exceptional young women in our volleyball program. As a man of faith, I humbly apologize to anyone that my actions may have negatively impacted, and look forward to the next chapter in my life.”
There’s a little bit to unpack here, but let’s get something straight: The NCAA is a vile, corrupt institution that cares more about the money in the pockets of its administration than any real concern for the student-athletes in the organization.
Coaches trying to help out with rent is not exactly a new thing, nor is it particularly rare. It is, however, still a violation in the NCAA’s eyes as a way to prevent a competitive advantage for one team over the other.
In a just world, universities would be able to either pay or help even more with expenses of student-athletes that make them boatloads of cash.
But stepping off my soapbox, Shymansky is claiming that he did this out of compassion. That, to me, is interesting in and of itself. If the student-athlete was promised a full scholarship and did not receive it, that is on Shymansky either lying or changing his mind after he told the player they would not have to worry about the money aspect of going to school.
Does that necessarily put him in the wrong? That is hard to say, though promising scholarships and athletes not receiving them is part of college recruiting. It is not fair, but it too is commonplace.
Which brings us to another point — did Shymansky do this to keep her on campus, hoping she could still contribute to the team?
It is really hard to say based on what Shymansky is saying in his statement, but there is a little bit we can speculate on. Perhaps the athlete was promised her full scholarship would kick in during the fall and Shymansky offered to pay her under the table until that kicked in.
Or, perhaps, she was only going to get a partial scholarship after being promised a full one and this was simply a way to keep the student-athlete from transferring. I find it a little difficult to believe this was simply a move made out of simple ‘compassion.’
The other thing at play here is that the student-athlete came to Iowa with Shymansky’s infraction, suggesting there may have been a falling out between the two. That, again, is speculation — the student-athlete could have also simply felt the need to call out the infraction.
It is extremely hard, even mean, to get angry at an athlete for accepting money in a time of need and any blame here is not on her.
Regardless of Shymansky’s reasons for paying the athlete or the athlete’s reasons for coming forward, it’s fairly obvious the former Iowa coach was not doing things the right way.
And in an administration that peddles the ‘Win, Graduate, Do It Right’ motto but continually has issues doing ‘It Right’ I guess that is now just to be expected.