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UAF Athletics’ self-report of potential violations now being investigated by NCAA

Published: Mar. 11, 2021 at 7:55 PM AKST
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FAIRBANKS, Alaska (KTVF) - In late January, the University of Alaska Fairbanks Athletic Department self-reported potential violations to the NCAA, which are now being investigated by the regulating body, according to UAF.

“We are working closely with the NCAA to investigate potential violations,” said UAF Public Information Officer Marmian Grimes.

Matters of the potential violations were not made available. Additionally, a staff member of the athletic department has been put on administration leave. UAF could not confirm whether the NCAA investigation and the decision to place said member on administration leave were correlated.

“The individual in the athletics department is on administrative leave. His current position is associate athletic director for facilities and events.”

That role is occupied by Kayne Gutierrez, though his name and title have been removed from the UAF Athletics Staff Directory. On the University of Alaska Directory Search, Gutierrez is listed as the Interim Director of Athletics, though he has not served that role in recent months. In fact, leadership atop the UAF Athletic Department has traded hands multiple times in 2021 alone. On January 7, UAF Administration appointed School of Management faculty member Peggy Keiper as the interim athletic director, while Keith Champagne resumed his role as vice chancellor after serving both roles since June 2019. However, Keiper stepped down from the position on March 5 in an email to the school, citing health issues. UAF Chancellor Dan White then appointed the University of Alaska Systems’ Chief Human Resources Officer Steve Patin as the interim AD, as the search for a permanent athletic director continues.

“It is important to remember that administrative leave isn’t disciplinary. Following the rules is important to us and we want to continue to work with NCAA to get this resolved.”

The University’s Board of Regents’ administrative leave policy states as follows:

R04.06.140. Administrative Leave:

A.

Administrative leave may be granted to an employee or a group of employees for a variety of reasons, including, but not limited to: 1. Operation interruptions beyond the control of management or employees such as fire, flood, building damage, power failure, bomb threat, etc.

2. Disruption of air cooling or heating systems which produce working conditions that make it impracticable for employees to remain in the workplace. 04.06 18 Benefits and Leave

3. Severe, adverse weather conditions which may threaten the safety of individuals currently working or who may be traveling to/from work.

4. When it is in the public interest to excuse employees from the workplace to participate in activities which the university is interested in encouraging. Example might include release of medical personnel for community emergency.

5. When the interests of the employee or the university are best served by the employee’s absence from the workplace.

B.

Individual employees may be placed on administrative leave with the approval of the chief human resources officer or regional human resources director. Administrative leave for groups of employees must be granted by a chancellor, the president, or designee.

C.

During administrative leave, an employee remains employed by the university and earns compensation at the employee’s regular rate of pay.

D.

Administrative leave for severe, adverse weather conditions may be used at the discretion of the individual, leave-eligible employee but only after an authorization of “personal safety” administrative leave use is announced by the president, chancellor, or designee for the system, a university or community campus. Employees already scheduled out on other types of leave (annual, sick, etc.) or on Leave without Pay are not eligible for personal safety administrative leave for that day.

E.

Employees on extended administrative leave must keep their supervisor advised of their current address, email address and telephone number such that the supervisor can contact the employee for information, to assign remote/alternate work, or to notify the employee to return to the workplace.

F.

When unavailable for telephone calls or other means of immediate communication, employees on extended administrative leave must use annual leave or comply with sick leave notice requirements.

G.

Employees on administrative leave for any reason shall immediately notify their supervisor if they obtain other employment.

H.

Administrative leave is not disciplinary in nature. A decision to place an employee on administrative leave is not subject to administrative review or grievance.

As the investigation is ongoing and the matters are internal, according to UAF, no additional information regarding the potential violations or the NCAA investigation were available. UAF Athletics currently in competition will continue as planned. KTVF will provide more information as it becomes available.

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