UL-L UNDER NCAA PROBATION!
UL-L UNDER NCAA PROBATION!
INDIANAPOLIS—The NCAA Division I Committee on Infractions has penalized the University of Louisiana at Lafayette for major and secondary violations in the football and men's basketball programs. The violations included ineligible participation by a men's basketball student-athlete and impermissible mandatory summer workouts for the football program. These infractions resulted in the committee finding that the institution failed to monitor its athletics program. Penalties for the violations included placing the university on two years of probation, a vacation of records and forfeiture of championship revenue, among other sanctions.
The Committee on Infractions found that a men's basketball student-athlete relied on correspondence courses taken through another institution to meet his percentage-of-degree and grade-point average requirements in order to maintain satisfactory progress for eligibility during the 2004 spring semester and 2004-05 academic year. NCAA rules stipulate that student-athletes cannot use correspondence courses taken from another institution to meet these requirements. The 15 hours of correspondence work were used to certify the student-athlete as eligible for 2004-05 and he competed throughout the season, which included an NCAA tournament game.
The report also notes that the school's compliance coordinator at the time, as well as the director of academic services and registrar, all "failed to catch the obvious error."
"The committee is dismayed that the institution failed to comply with a simple, unambiguous bylaw and, as a consequence, allowed a star student-athlete to compete for a full season and half of another," the report states.
The committee also found one related secondary violation, which is outlined in the public report.
The violations in the football program occurred during the summers from 2002 through 2005 and involved voluntary conditioning activities becoming mandatory because of actions by members of the football and strength and conditioning staffs.
The strength and conditioning coach at the time provided both written and verbal updates to the coaching staff about student-athletes participating in summer workouts. Also, members of the football coaching staff occasionally observed workouts, provided skill training and tracked student-athlete attendance in the summer conditioning program.
Violations in both programs led the committee to find that the institution demonstrated a failure to monitor its football and men's basketball programs. The failure to correctly apply academic standing and progress-toward-degree requirements on two different occasions led to this finding.
The committee also believed that the failure to provide adequate education to the football and strength and conditioning coaches on NCAA legislation related to voluntary and countable athletically related activities during the summer contributed to the violations in the football program.
The report specifically noted that, "Meetings specifically for the purpose of educating the coaches on compliance issues were not held and the institution acknowledged that the education efforts were inadequate and constitute a failure to monitor."
In determining the penalties, the committee considered the university's self-imposed penalties and corrective actions, its cooperation with the NCAA enforcement staff and the limited scope of violations. However, the committee felt it appropriate to sanction the institution because the violations in the football program took place during four consecutive summers and the basketball violations allowed an academically ineligible student-athlete to compete for a full season and part of another. The penalties, some of which were self-imposed by the institution and adopted by the committee are as follows:
[glow=red,2,300]Public reprimand and censure.
Two years of probation (April 19, 2007 to April 18, 2009)
A vacation of all men's basketball contests in which the ineligible student-athlete competed during the 2003-04 and 2004-05 seasons, including participation in the NCAA Division I Men's Basketball Tournaments during those years. The individual records of the student-athlete shall be vacated as well. The institution's records regarding men's basketball as well as the records of the individual(s) who served as head men's basketball coach(es) during these seasons shall be reconfigured to reflect the vacated records in all publications for the affected seasons, including, but not limited to, institutional media guides, recruiting material and institutional and NCAA archives. Finally, any public reference to the tournament performances during the time shall be removed, including, but not limited to, athletics department stationary and banners displayed in public areas such as the arena in which the men's basketball team competes.
Reduction in men's basketball program scholarships by one full equivalency for two academic years or to be taken simultaneously.
Forfeiture of 90 percent of the first year's revenue it received from the Sun Belt Conference for its participation in the 2004 and 2005 NCAA Men's Division I Basketball Championship.
Reduction of its countable hours in the football program from 20 hours to 15 for one week during either the spring 2007 semester or the spring 2008 semester.
All individuals with athletics responsibility in the offices of admission, financial aid, compliance and the registrar, including the faculty athletics representative, shall attend an NCAA Compliance Seminar prior to the expiration of the probation period.[/glow]
The Committee on Infractions consists of conference and institutional athletics administrators, faculty and a member of the public. The committee independently adjudicates cases investigated by the NCAA enforcement staff and determines appropriate penalties. The committee's findings may be appealed to the Infractions Appeals Committee.
The members of the NCAA Division I Committee on Infractions who reviewed this case are Josephine R. Potuto, chair, professor of law, University of Nebraska, Lincoln; Eileen K. Jennings, general counsel, Central Michigan University; Alfred Lechner, Jr., attorney, Lerner David LLP; Paul T. Dee, athletic director, University of Miami; Andrea L. Myers, athletic director emeritus, Indiana State University; Thomas R. Phillips, partner attorney, Baker Botts LLP; and Dennis E. Thomas, commissioner, Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference.
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