Iowa volleyball coach Bond Shymansky fired after investigation into 'major violation of NCAA rules'

Dargan Southard
Hawk Central

IOWA CITY, Ia. — The Bond Shymansky era is officially over at Iowa.

The Hawkeyes announced the firing Wednesday of their fifth-year volleyball coach, the culmination of what’s been a turbulent past month for Shymansky’s former program.

Iowa stated in a school release that "the termination is due to the determination by the university — following an independent investigation by an outside law firm — of a major violation of NCAA rules. The violation includes intentionally providing an impermissible benefit to a prospective student-athlete, who went on to compete for the Iowa volleyball program and is now a former student-athlete."

“We take NCAA violations very seriously, and have acted in a fair and decisive manner,” athletics director Gary Barta said in the release. “We will continue to work with the NCAA in regard to our self-report to reach a conclusion in this matter as swiftly as possible.”

Iowa volleyball head coach Bond Shymansky speaks to reporters during Iowa volleyball media day on Friday, Aug. 17, 2018, at Carver-Hawkeye Arena in Iowa City.

The move comes as no surprise after Shymansky was placed on a 30-day paid administrative leave, which Barta publicly announced on May 20. The 30-day period was up Wednesday.

The university paid the firm Bond, Schoeneck & King $280 per hour to investigate the NCAA violations. The firm came to Iowa’s campus and began its investigation May 6, Barta said. Barta added the allegations of a violation were brought to light by a former student-athlete on May 1. Iowa then informed the NCAA.   

“I’m comfortable enough to say that everybody who works in college athletics is very familiar with where this line is that can’t be crossed,” Barta said during the May 20 news conference.

Barta declined to elaborate further that day, only adding that he expected the violation to be considered “Level I” or “Level II,” per the NCAA’s structure. The NCAA defines a Level II violation as a “significant breach of conduct” and a Level I violation as a “severe breach of conduct.”

Shymansky was 78-83 while leading the Hawkeyes, including 15-16 last season. His termination comes with three years remaining on his contract, which ran through 2022. Associate head coach Vicki Brown has been the interim coach over the past month. She will remain in that role for the 2019-20 season, Barta said.

Iowa also announced it won't comment on this matter during the investigation, per the NCAA's request. The NCAA will release its findings upon the conclusion of its investigation. 

Dargan Southard covers Iowa and UNI athletics, recruiting and preps for the Des Moines Register, and the Iowa City Press-Citizen. Email him at or follow him on Twitter at @Dargan_Southard.