U suspends two coaches

Joel Maturi put the men's tennis head coach and an assistant coach on a leave of absence.

Than Tibbetts

The University has suspended two men’s tennis coaches as a result of NCAA rules violations found during the athletics department’s internal investigation of the team.

Athletics Director Joel Maturi placed head coach David Geatz and assistant coach Adam Cohen on paid leave of absence starting today. They will not be able to participate in any coaching activities with the team.

The infractions stem from two student-athletes’ involvement in a summer internship program at the North Oaks Tennis Club in North Oaks, Minn.

Sophomores Andres Osorio and D.J. Geatz, David Geatz’s son, were suspended from the team in November for their involvement in the infractions, Maturi said.

The University filed the report of its internal investigation to the NCAA on Friday. The NCAA will begin its own investigation into the alleged violations Tuesday. The investigation could take four to six weeks.

David Geatz said he would let the investigation run its course.

“The University will be able to say exactly what was a violation and what wasn’t,” he said.

He added that his suspension took him off guard.

Maturi said it was to be determined whether any additional players or staff members were involved in the infractions.

The NCAA will interview everyone involved and will determine the seriousness of the offense, he said.

If the NCAA determines a major violation occurred, the athletics department could be subject to harsher penalties, because the University is on probation stemming from major violations in the men’s and women’s basketball programs.

The NCAA could invoke the “death penalty,” a measure for repeat offenders that would temporarily abolish the tennis team. But Maturi said he would be surprised if that happened.

The University is among six schools with seven major infractions of NCAA rules. Coincidentally, the men’s tennis team will travel to Texas this week to face Southern Methodist University, the only institution with more major infractions.

Southern Methodist University’s 1987-88 football team is also the only athletics program to receive the NCAA’s “death penalty.”

Maturi said the tennis program’s volunteer coach, Zachary Remis, will coach the team at its meet in Texas. He said he hopes to find a replacement coach in the two weeks following that match.

University of Minnesota General Counsel Mark Rotenberg, whose office conducted the investigation, could not be reached for comment Sunday.