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Review: Bill O'Boyle mishandled funds

OMAHA, Neb. -- Former Chadron State football coach Bill O'Boyle opened secret accounts for program funds and failed to document about $22,000 in spending, according to a report released Friday.

The 79-page report from independent accounting firm BKD said O'Boyle funneled donations and other athletic funds to four private bank accounts during his seven years as head coach at the Division II school without consent or oversight from college administration. The review found O'Boyle failed to maintain proper spending records, and that about $22,000 in expenditures are questionable and could violate NCAA rules.

O'Boyle became head coach when Brad Smith was promoted to athletic director after the 2004 season. O'Boyle, a former assistant coach under Smith, was relieved of his coaching duties in October but remains on the Chadron State staff. In announcing O'Boyle's removal from his coaching position, college president Janie Park said he could return as head coach in 2012.

Alex Helmbrecht, Chadron's sports information director, declined to specify what job O'Boyle was performing for the athletic department. O'Boyle couldn't be reached on his cell phone, and the Chadron athletic office referred questions to Park.

Park said in a statement that all employees are expected to follow the college's rules for financial operations and staff conduct, and violating those rules puts the school's reputation at risk.

She told The Associated Press that there has been no change in O'Boyle's position at the school since his removal as coach and that the NCAA is investigating the football program. She declined further comment and would not address whether O'Boyle could face criminal charges.

Last month, the college announced it was working with the NCAA on possible violations tied to football fundraising. The school said it had brought the concerns to the NCAA and the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference.

According to the report released Friday by the Nebraska State College System, Chadron State administration became suspicious of the handling of football funds in September, after money from a golf tournament benefiting the program was not deposited into school accounts.

O'Boyle initially denied knowledge of any secret accounts but later told the athletic director about one account that he had used to deposit the tournament money, the report said. The coach said he felt the reimbursement process to have the football funds applied toward the program's expenses was too difficult.

O'Boyle said in a written statement included in the report that he did not use the money for his own expenses. The reviewers looked at O'Boyle's personal bank accounts and did not see suspicious deposits, the report said.

The report said some of the expenditures from the secret accounts went toward legitimate football program expenses but some are unexplained. Eighteen payments, totaling $1,532, went to 18 active Chadron State players and 13 payments, totaling $3,121, could be in violation of NCAA rules.