WE WILL JOIN JUSTIN LIVE IN MOMENTS BUT WE BEGIN WITH BREAKING NEWS TONIGHT AT 5 – THE NCAA IMPOSES SANCTIONS ON THE ETSU ATHLETIC PROGRAM AFTER FINDING MULTIPLE INFRACTIONS BY THE FORMER MEN’S TENNIS COACH AND A BOOSTER.. WELCOME IN TO NEWS CHANNEL 11 AT 5 I’M JOSH SMITH.. I’M SARA DIAMOND — THE NCAA TODAY ANNOUNCED FINDINGS OF AN INVESTIGATION INTO INFRACTIONS IN THE EAST TENNESSEE STATE UNIVERSITY MEN’S TENNIS PROGRAM.. AND THAT INVESTIGATION LED TO SEVERAL SANCTIONS TO NOT ONLY THE TENNIS PROGRAM — THE ENTIRE ETSU ATHLETICS DEPARTMENT HAS BEEN PLACED ON PROBATION FOR THE NEXT TWO YEARS.. NEWS CHANNEL 11’S ASHLEY SHARP JUST FINISHED SPEAKING WITH ETSU ATHLETIC DIRECTOR SCOTT CARTER — SHE JOINS US LIVE FROM CAMPUS WITH MORE ON THIS BREAKING STORY… JOSH SARA – AN NCAA REVIEW INTO THE MEN’S TENNIS PROGRAM AT E- TS-U FOUND FORMER HEAD COACH YASER ZAATINI AND AN ASSITANT COACH VIOLATED SEVERAL REGULATIONS- BECAUSE OF THIS THE ENTIRE ATHLETIC DEPARTMENT HAS BEEN PUT ON PROBATION. A DIVISION ONE COMMITTEE ON INFRACTIONS PANEL SAID ZAATINI AND A BOOSTER PROVIDED 14 TENNIS STUDENT ATHLETES WITH NEARLY $10,000 IN WHAT THEY CALL “IMPERMISSABLE BENEFITS.” THEY RULED THE BOOSTER PROVIDED HOUSING BENEFITS TO THE PLAYERS THAT WERE NOT ALLOWED, WHILE ZAATINI PROVIDED GIFTS, FREE LODGING AND OTHER ITEMS. ZAATINI RESIGNED IN MARCH… HE HAD A CASE OF FORGERY AND THEFT AGAINST HIM DISMISSED AFTER REPAYING MORE THAN $31,000 HE REPORTEDLY USED FOR PERSONAL USE INSTEAD OF FUNDING THE TENNIS PROGRAM. ATHLETIC DIRECTOR SCOTT CARTER SAYS- “IT MEANS WE NEED TO DO EVERYTHING RIGHT FOR THE NEXT TWO YEARS. WE STRIVE TO DO EVERYTHING RIGHT ALL THE TIME BUT OBVIOUSLY WHEN YOU GET A MANDATE FROM THE NCAA THERE’S A LEVEL OF SCRUTINY, A PARTICULAR LEVEL OF EDUCATION WE WANT TO CONTINUE, BUT WE WILL MAKE SURE IS SPECIFIC TO WHAT WAS NOTED IN THIS REPORT. ALWAYS WANNA MAKE SURE WE DO EVERYTHING BY THE RULES, BUT OBVIOUSLY WE WILL MAKE SURE WE’RE IN COMPLIANCE WITH EVERY SINGLE THING.” SOME OF THE PENALTIES IMPOSED TODAY INCLUDE AS WE SAID THE ENTIRE ATHLETIC PROGRAM BEING PUT ON PROBATION STARTING TODAY THROUGH SEPTEMBER OF 2020.. A REDUCTION IN THE NUMBER OF MEN’S SCHOLARSHIPS.. THE SCHOOL MUST VACATE RECORDS COMPILED BY THOSE STUDENT- ATHLETES WHILE INELIGIBLE.. AND A $5,000 FINE IMPOSED BY THE SCHOOL.. AND A $5,000 FINE IMPOSED BY THE SCHOOL.. I’LL HAVE MORE INFORMATION FROM THAT INTERVIEW WITH ATHLETIC DIRECTOR SCOTT CARTER AT 6- FOR NOW LIVE ON ETSU’S CAMPUS ASHLEY SHARP NEWS CHANNEL 11 IN YOUR CORNER. SPORTS DIRECTOR KENNY HAWKINS JOINS US NOW.. KENNY WHAT DOES THIS NEWS TODAY MEAN FOR ETSU SPORTS GOING FORWARD?… WELL FOR STARTERS IT’S GOING TO CHANGE THE RECORD OF ONE OF THE MOST SUCCESSFUL PROGRAMS WITHIN THE ETSU ATHLETIC DEPARTMENT.. TODAY’S RULING MEANS 295 TENNIS MATCHES COULD BE VACATED BECAUSE OF PLAYERS THAT HAVE NOW BEEN DEEMED TO HAVE BEEN INELIGIBLE AT THAT TIME.. THE GOOD NEWS — TODAY’S SANCTIONS DID NOT INCLUDE A POSTSEASON BAN FOR ANY SPORTS. BUT THE ENTIRE ATHLETIC DEPARTMENT IS ON PROBATION STARTING TODAY FOR THE NEXT TWO YEARS — THAT MEANS THEY WILL BE UNDER MORE INTENSE SCRUTINY FOR SIMILAR VIOLATIONS. AND SHOULD ANY MORE INFRACTIONS OCCUR, IT WILL SEND UP A RED FLAG TO THE NCAA WHO COULD IMPOSE MORE SANCTIONS THAT COULD BE EVEN MORE SEVERE THAN THE ONES ANNOUNCED TODAY. SO ALL BUCCANEER COACHES ARE NOW GOING TO HAVE TO KEEP A SHARP EYE ON BOOSTERS AND THEIR PROGRAMS.. WE WILL HAVE MUCH MORE ON THIS BREAKING STORY TONIGHT AT 6 — KENNY THANK YOU FOR THE INSIGHT..

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Dennis Veasley

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