Investigation of Missouri State Volleyball Finds NCAA Violations; Coach Stokes Resigns

Legendary Missouri State volleyball coach Melissa Stokes is out after an investigation found NCAA violations within the school’s program.

The University announced Stokes’ resignation today.

“The university commissioned a review of our volleyball program, due to some concerns that were brought to our attention,” Missouri State Athletic Director Kyle Moats said in a statement. “As a result of the investigation, we have concluded that we need to take the program in a new direction.”

The independent investigation of the program by Spencer Fane LLP concluded the program made several NCAA violations. A non-qualifier accompanied the team during a foreign tour without covering all the costs associated with going on the tour. Currently enrolled students were also given permission to participate in private camps run by coach Stokes as campers.

The university said that Stokes fully participated in the investigation. Stokes is the Missouri Valley Conference’s all-time winningest coach in league matches. She was 509-243 overall with 299 MVC wins.

“For the last 23 years, the Missouri State volleyball program has been my top priority,” Stokes said in a statement. “I have always wanted what is best for our student-athletes and the university. To minimize further distraction to the program and the players, I submitted my resignation earlier today.”

Missouri State will self-report the violations found during the investigation to the NCAA.

The school and Stokes negotiated a separation agreement with a severance payment of $80,000. Stokes’ contract was to have run through June 30, 2023.

Associate head coach Manolo Concepcion is named the interim head coach effective immediately and will coach through the upcoming season. A national search for a head coach will take place at the end of the 2019 season.

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