The NCAA announced Thursday that its Division I Men’s Golf Committee has issued a public reprimand to J.C. Deacon, the head men’s golf coach at Florida, for misconduct during the 2018 NCAA Championship.
Per a release, the NCAA states Deacon displayed unprofessional behavior in the scoring area on May 28 at Karsten Creek Golf Club in Stillwater, Okla.
The committee deemed Deacon’s conduct on May 28 unprofessional and that his behavior and response only escalated the situation in the scoring area.
“The committee actively encourages coaches and student-athletes to display good sportsmanship throughout the season and during the championship,” said Brad Hurlbut, chair of the Division I Men’s Golf Committee and deputy director of athletics at Sacred Heart. “The committee does not believe that coach Deacon’s behavior at this year’s championships belongs in the game of golf.”
Deacon, a former player and assistant coach at UNLV, was hired as Florida’s head coach in June 2014.
He took over a Gators program that had finished the previous season ranked 71st and moved the group up to No. 37 in his first season. Florida has finished each of the three subsequent seasons ranked in the top 10.
Florida, which finished the 2017-18 season ranked 10th by Golfweek, failed to pass through the 54-hole stroke-play cut (where the 30 teams on hand were cut down to top 15) at the 2018 NCAA Championship.
The Gators were one of a few schools to have players issued pace-of-play penalties during the event.
The onslaught of slow-play infractions at NCAAs brought up questions of consistency regarding enforcement throughout the season.
The University Athletic Association, the athletic department for the University of Florida, gave Golfweek a statement on the committee’s reprimand:
“The UAA is aware of the situation, which arose out of Coach Deacon’s passionate defense of a Florida player. Coach Deacon has been very proactive throughout the process and has reached out and apologized to the appropriate people. We are now looking forward to our upcoming season.”
Deacon is entering his fifth season as Florida’s head coach. The Gators open the 2018-19 campaign at the Carpet Capital Collegiate on Sept. 7.