Tech’s Cremins recused from NCAA infractions case against UGA

Georgia’s date to go before the NCAA infractions committee has been set for Oct. 16, and Bobby Cremins won’t be in attendance.

If the second part of that statement seems strange, there’s an explanation. Cremins, the former Georgia Tech basketball coach, is a member of the NCAA’s committee on infractions and was originally assigned as one of the seven panelists scheduled to hear Case No. 00122 against UGA and swimming & diving coach Jack Bauerle.

According to documents obtained from UGA by The Atlanta Journal-Constitution in compliance with an open records request, Georgia was informed by electronic email on Friday, July 18, who the seven members were that would make up the committee. By that Monday morning, UGA had written back asking that Cremins be recused.

“Mr. Bobby Cremins coached for many years at the University of Georgia’s in-state rival, Georgia Tech, and his appointment presents the appearance of a conflict of interest that the University would like to avoid,” wrote UGA’s attorney, Mike Glazier, of Bond, Schoeneck & King. “Thus, the University respectfully request that Mr. Cremins be recused. Such a recusal will alleviate the concern that Georgia athletics supporters may perceive a conflict and a less partial review of the University’s case.”

The Bulldogs’ plea proved unnecessary.

On July 25, Cremins asked to be recused from the panel “because he and Coach Bauerle have a friend in common,” an NCAA administrator replied. “In order to avoid either an actual conflict or the appearance of a potential conflict, Mr. Cremins believed recusal was necessary.”

The committee’s chair agreed and Britton Banowsky, the commissioner of Conference USA, was assigned to replace Cremins.

Banowsky will join Carol Cartwright (president emeritus of Kent State), Greg Christopher (Xavier athletics director), Thomas Hill (senior vice president for student affairs at Iowa State), Roscoe Howard (public member from Washington D.C.), Joel Maturi (Minnesota retired AD) and Sankar Suryanarayan (Princeton general counsel).

They’ll meet with UGA President Jere Morehead, Athletic Director Greg McGarity, Bauerle, other administrators and the university’s counsel on the morning of Oct. 16 at the Westin Indianapolis in Indiana.

Bauerle, UGA’s ultra-successful swimming and diving coach for the last 35 years, is alleged to have provided an extra benefit to a star swimmer by interceding on an academic matter and to have committed breach of the coach’s conduct code as a result. Bauerle is still getting paid as Georgia’s coach but has been on indefinite suspension since January.

UGA admits that bylaws were broken but has asked the NCAA to consider it a Level II, rather than a Level I, violation.