This result seemed inevitable when volleyball coach Bond Shymansky was suspended a month ago. Earlier this week, it became official: Shymansky's tenure as volleyball head coach at Iowa is over. Per Iowa's official release:
Iowa Terminates Volleyball Coach Bond Shymansky
IOWA CITY, Iowa -- The University of Iowa Athletics Department announced Wednesday the termination of head volleyball coach Bond Shymansky, for cause. The announcement was made by Gary Barta, Henry B. and Patricia B. Tippie Director of Athletics Chair.
The termination is due to the determination by the university, following an independent investigation by an outside law firm, of a major violation of NCAA rules. The violation includes intentionally providing an impermissible benefit to a prospective student-athlete, who went on to compete for the UI volleyball program and is now a former student-athlete.
Upon the conclusion of the internal investigation, Iowa self-reported the violation to the NCAA and is cooperating in the process.
“We take NCAA violations very seriously, and have acted in a fair and decisive manner,” said Barta. “We will continue to work with the NCAA in regard to our self-report to reach a conclusion in this matter as swiftly as possible.”
Barta announced that Vicki Brown, who was named interim head coach on May 20, 2019, will remain in that role for the 2019-20 volleyball season. Brown was named associate head coach in April, 2017.
Shymansky was named head volleyball coach on Feb. 3, 2014, posting a 78-83 record in five seasons.
Per request from the NCAA, Iowa will refrain from comment on this matter during the investigation. The NCAA will release its findings upon conclusion of its investigation.
As the release notes, Iowa won't be releasing any more information about Shymansky's firing or the violation of NCAA rules until the NCAA's own investigation is complete. That hasn't stopped others involved in the matter from providing further comment, though -- Shymansky released a statement of his own after his dismissal was announced. Per The Des Moines Register:
From the Hartung Schroeder law firm:
"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."
From Shymansky's own statement:
"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 on 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."
Shymansky's comments about not discriminating against anyone and not "doing it right" in this situation are obviously barely-even-veiled digs at Iowa athletic director Gary Barta, whose litany of missteps was documented by Pat last November. Barta has trumpeted Iowa's "Win. Graduate. Do it right." motto relentlessly over the past few years and a jury found him guilty of discrimination against former athletic department employee Jane Meyer (an imbroglio that ended up costing Iowa $6.5 million to settle claims made by Meyer and former Iowa field hockey coach Tracey Griesbaum).
As for the "major violation" at the heart of all this... Shymansky (apparently) paid a student-athlete's rent. We only have Shymansky's side of things to go on at the moment, so perhaps there's more to the situation (and, certainly, as the head coach he would seem to have some culpability in the student-athlete believing she was on a full scholarship), but based on what we know at the moment... welp, it's a good thing the NCAA is getting to the bottom of this scandalous crime. I'm sure we'll all rest easier now.