COD Officials had Longstanding Knowledge of Athletic Problems

Miguel Angel Contreras III, Staff Writer

New documents received by the Courier Newspaper show COD officials knew there was a problem in the athletic department significant enough to warrant outside investigation at least a year before any public announcement. The documents may provide new fuel for student athletes already frustrated about how long it took college officials to inform them of the year-long NJCAA probation that resulted from the investigation.

College officials have refused to release the internal audit or any reports generated by the outside law firm contracted to dig deeper into anomalies found by the audit. The college did release the contract with the law firm following a Freedom of Information request by the Courier. The contract with Dugan Bertsch, LLC dates back to Sept. 16, 2017. It was signed by Brian Caputo on Sept. 29, 2017. Caputo, who is now the interim president of COD, was serving as its CFO at the time.

On Aug. 31, 2018 then-President Ann Rondeau released a letter to the public about the athletic probation.

Due to the self-reported violations, the NJCAA has placed all College of DuPage athletics teams on probation for the 2018-2019 season, which means all teams may continue to participate in the current regular season but are ineligible to participate in any post-season competitions.”

These violations included what new Athletic Director Greg McVey and public relations coordinator Jen Duda called “processing errors” that dated back to 2013. What failed to be processed was required student documentation relevant to NJCAA eligibility like required physicals, credit hours, transcripts for transfer students, NJCAA affidavits and proper high school transcripts.

COD then reported those eligibility violations to the NJCAA themselves. Based on the violations committed by the institution, the NJCAA ruled that COD would have to return awards earned while fielding ineligible athletes. They also determined that as consequence all COD athletic teams would be on probation for the 2018-2019 season. Rendering them ineligible to participate in post season play.

This is despite the fact that, according to a previous interview with McVey, there are no longer members of COD who are responsible for the violations. Meaning that the mistakes of the institution has fallen onto the shoulders of its current athletes, coaches and administrative staff.

Further interviewing with McVey and Duda revealed little about the nature of who was responsible for the processing errors.
When news of the probation broke in the fall, several student athletes expressed frustration about not being told about potential problems in time for them to transfer to other schools. Coaches have said publicly they were not informed about any problems or potential penalties until the day before athletes were told.

The Courier will continue to issue FOIA requests and investigate as necessary to discern important and undisclosed details surrounding the athletic probation.