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Jack Bauerle is still a Georgia Bulldog

The NCAA finally released its official decision today on the Jack Bauerle case, and the bottom line is that Bauerle will be allowed to keep his job.

OSports-USA TODAY Sports

For those who haven't been keeping track of the drama surrounding the UGA Men's and Women's Swimming coach, Bauerle had been subject to an ongoing investigation for more than a year now, and there were serious rumblings that he might be fired as a result of his actions in the Chase Kalisz case. The NCAA's summary of its findings actually lays out the basic facts of the case pretty well, and for the most part, Coach Bauerle never disputed them.  Essentially, Coach Bauerle tried to bend the rules a little bit, got caught, and cooperated when he did get caught.  (Though he argued after the fact that the professor gave Kalisz a passing grade in error, when the grade should have been "incomplete."  But the NCAA ruling is clear that even having Kalisz enrolled in the class at all was an impermissable benefit.)

Coach Bauerle was banned from coaching in all of UGA's swim meets in 2014, and that ban will continue through the first 9 regular season meets in the current season. He was also banned from recruiting through the end of the 2014-2015 season. He will still be able to coach the team in practices, though (as he was in 2014). He should be back by mid-January, and will be able to lead the Swim Dogs in the SEC and NCAA tournaments this season.

This case has carried a personal importance to me, not only because Coach Bauerle is one of the most successful head coaches at any sport in Georgia history, but also because a good friend of mine, who knew Coach Bauerle personally, was the first to share some then-not-publically-available details on the case with Dawg Sports, and that friend (Thomas Hinson, "downindixie" at this site) has passed away in the past year. (To be clear, though, the circumstances of his passing are in no way related to this case.) I'm glad that this matter not only has been resolved with the NCAA, but that Jack Bauerle was allowed to keep his job.  Thomas strongly felt, as I do, that while Coach Bauerle had a significant lapse in judgement, those mistakes were not at a level that should require Greg McGarity to dump him unceremoniously to the curb.

No one can condone the actions taken by Jack Bauerle, which were clearly wrong and bordered on academic fraud. But at the end of the day, UGA has managed to keep a coach that has 6 national championships (including the last 2 women's swimming national titles), 11 SEC championships, and an Olympic gold medal on his resume.  That's a good thing for the Dawgs.  I'm looking forward to seeing how Coach Bauerle's teams will perform this year, and I'm looking forward to once again seeing the coach patrolling the pool during meets later this season.

Go Dawgs!