Indiana fires men’s tennis coach Randy Bloemendaal

Indiana dismissed men’s tennis coach Randy Bloemendaal Friday, citing secondary violations of NCAA rules and violations of other department policies.

An investigation by Indiana officials revealed that Bloemendaal was responsible for violations relating to voluntary activities, summer workout sessions and required time off. The investigation also showed that Bloemendaal attempted to interfere with student-athletes reporting potential NCAA violations to the compliance staff.

IU athletic director Fred Glass said Bloemendaal was dismissed not because of the violations themselves, but because he tried to stop athletes from reporting them. The school said in a press release issued late Friday afternoon that it self-reported the violations to the NCAA.

“I dismissed Coach Bloemendaal because the investigation’s conclusions that he attempted to interfere with student-athletes reporting potential NCAA violations and that he did not appropriately defer to the judgment of the medical staff are completely contrary to the clear, repeatedly expressed expectations and values of me, this department, and Indiana University,” Glass said in a statement. “I commend the student-athletes involved for bringing this situation to our attention.”

On Nov. 7, five members of the men’s tennis team met with compliance staff over their concerns about the program. Two complaints were submitted on that same day to the university’s anonymous Ethics Point web site. Three days later, five additional team members and one former team member raised similar concerns to the compliance staff, prompting the Office of the Vice President and General Counsel to join the compliance staff in an investigation of the program.

Bloemendaal was placed on paid, involuntary leave on Nov. 12.

Glass met with Bloemendaal on Thursday to address the allegations against him and fired him effective Friday.

Associate Athletic Director Jeremy Gray will oversee the program until a new head coach is hired. That search will begin immediately and be led by Gray.

Bloemendaal, an Australian native, was in his eighth year as IU head coach after having served two years as an assistant according to his bio on the Indiana athletics web site. His Hoosier record was listed at 128-83 (and 299-143 in 17 overall seasons as a head coach at the Division I and Division II levels.) IU’s 23-8 record in 2011 (9-1 in Big Ten play) under Bloemendaal matched the best in program history. The full text of the press release announcing the move is below the fold:

November 21, 2014

Head Men’s Tennis Coach Randy Bloemendaal Dismissed; Search for Successor to Begin Immediately
Bloomington, Ind.- Indiana University Vice President and Director of Intercollegiate Athletics Fred Glass announced today that he has dismissed men’s tennis coach RandyBloemendaal arising from his Secondary/Level III violations of NCAA rules and other violations of Athletics department policies.

On November 7, 2014, five members of the men’s tennis team approached and met with department compliance staff expressing concerns about the program. On that same day, two complaints were submitted to the university’s anonymous Ethics Point website also raising concerns about the program. On November 10, 2014, five additional team members and one former team member presented similar concerns to department compliance staff. At the Athletic Director’s request also on November 10, 2014, the Office of the Vice President and General Counsel joined the department’s compliance staff to investigate the complaints.  On November 10, 2014, Coach Bloemendaal was notified of the anonymous complaint, and on November 12, 2014, was placed on paid, involuntary leave by the Athletics department for the duration of the investigation.

After a thorough investigation, including interviewing many individuals (including all of the members of the tennis team and Coach Bloemendaal) and reviewing multiple documents and other evidence, Counsel and the department compliance staff presented their findings and conclusions to the Athletic Director, Faculty Athletics Representative Kurt Zorn, and other department staff on November 20, 2014.

The investigation concluded that Coach Bloemendaal was responsible for Secondary/Level III violations relating to Voluntary Athletically Related Activities, Summer Workout Sessions, and Required Time Off.  (Attached is a copy of Indiana University’s self-report to the NCAA in this matter dated November 21, 2014, which provides additional detail regarding these violations.) In addition, the investigation concluded that Coach Bloemendaal attempted to interfere with student-athletes reporting potential NCAA violations to the department’s compliance staff and that he did not appropriately defer to the judgment of the medical staff regarding student-athletes’ ability to participate in athletic activity.

The Athletic Director and other department staff met with Coach Bloemendaal on November 20, 2014 to again give him the opportunity to address the allegations against him. After considering the findings and conclusions presented to him, and his meeting with Coach Bloemendaal, the Athletic Director dismissed Coach Bloemendaal effective November 21, 2014.

“While the Secondary/Level III NCAA violations in this matter are certainly concerning, by themselves they would not have led me to dismiss Coach Bloemendaal,” said Glass. “I dismissed Coach Bloemendaal because the investigation’s conclusions that he attempted to interfere with student-athletes reporting potential NCAA violations and that he did not appropriately defer to the judgment of the medical staff are completely contrary to the clear, repeatedly expressed expectations and values of me, this department, and Indiana University. I commend the student-athletes involved for bringing this situation to our attention.”

Associate Athletic Director Jeremy Gray will oversee the program until a new head coach is hired. That search will begin immediately and be led by Gray.