Baseball coach issued Letter of Reprimand

FOLLOWING A REVIEW of allegations WSU baseball coach Don Marbut misrepresented his academic credentials, Director of Athletics Jim Sterk has issued the coach an official letter of reprimand. Based upon his conduct over the two and a half years Marbut has been at WSU, and with the stipulation there will be "no misconduct" in the future, Sterk said Marbut will continue on as the Cougars' baseball coach.

Sterk had initially responded to allegations in a Seattle Times article on Marbut by saying there was no evidence that "would lead us to believe corrective action needs to be taken". Tuesday, following the review, the AD said there was indeed "sufficient cause" for reprimand.

"The integrity of our programs and the ethical conduct of our personnel are of the utmost importance to us," said Sterk. "We have reviewed allegations against Coach Marbut and as much documentation as is available to us to substantiate those allegations. Following this review, I have determined that there is sufficient cause to discipline Coach Marbut for his actions. Most importantly, I want to ensure that there is no misunderstanding as to the expectations of personnel within the athletics department at Washington State University."

Marbut filled out a biographical data sheet following his hiring as an assistant coach at WSU in 2003 in which he wrote the word "certificate" on a form that asked for the name of degree or certificate associated with each academic program attended. He also listed on his resume, under the heading "Education," "Teaching certification – k-8 Saint Martins College, 1998."

Marbut did enroll in and complete one year of academic course work in the teacher certification program at Saint Martin's in 1998. However, he did not complete his student teaching and therefore never completed the program.

"Any misrepresentation of academic credentials is a serious matter, especially at an academic institution," said Sterk. "While Coach Marbut contends that the errors on these forms were unintentional, that does not constitute a defense in my opinion. I have made it clear to him that this is not acceptable."

Other allegations in the Times article against concern Marbut's performance while Athletic Director at Edmonds Community College. The state auditor issued a report that covered the period July 2002 through June 2004, when Marbut was the AD for the first year of that period.

The report found the college's athletic department lacked adequate internal controls to monitor its financial and operating activities and that some athletic department employees, including Marbut, had used or authorized the use of the college's fields without charge. The audit report has been submitted to the Executive Ethics Board, the state agency charged with enforcing the state's Ethics Act, for review.

Sterk stated WSU will hold its determination as to what action should be taken regarding these allegations until the Ethics Board has completed its handling of the matter.

"In view of the corrective action that we have taken, and the way in which he has conducted himself as a member of the athletic staff in the two-and-a-half years he has been at WSU, I believe that Coach Marbut can continue to coach at Washington State University," said Sterk. "This is with the understanding, however, that there will be no misconduct in the future. Our coaches must set the highest example for all of our students; I will expect Coach Marbut to comply with this standard in all of his conduct as long as he is associated with the baseball program at Washington State University."

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