In his 31 years at UCSD, McManus finished the 2017–18 season with the most wins in NCAA Division II women’s soccer history. Although he had discussed his possible retirement over the last few years, his resignation, effective immediately, was unexpected.
According to the press release, McManus violated departmental policy and potentially violated NCAA regulations over the course of several years. While McManus has not publicly released a statement, he explained what the possible violations could have been to The San Diego Union-Tribune.
“Here’s what it was: It was over a period of the last few years, once or maybe twice a season after late-night games the players would go for pizza and I would give them money out of my pocket—$50 or $60. That’s it.”
By NCAA regulations, athletes may not be given “impermissible benefits,” which are benefits that are not generally available to the student population. This can include preferential treatment, free services, or discounts dependent on an athlete’s skill and reputation.
The press release states: “The University promptly notified the NCAA after potential violations were confirmed, which included providing student-athletes with impermissible benefits in the form of small amounts of money.”
According to McManus, he gave out the pizza money about six or seven times over the last four or five years. Furthermore, Associate Head Coach Kristin Jones and Assistant Trent Painter, both of whom were allegedly aware of these incidences, received disciplinary action, but will be managing the team for the upcoming season.
Athletic Director Earl Edwards said in an interview: “It’s an unfortunate situation that we have to deal with. But there are certain standards and rules that we all need to abide by…We needed to take action.”
The women’s soccer team begins practice on Monday, August 20, and the 2018–19 season opens on August 30 against Concordia University Irvine. The university is conducting a formal investigation into the potential violations and looking for a permanent head coach.
Ella Chen is the News Editor of The Triton. You can follow her @cinder_ellachen.