|Lane College taken to NCAA wood shed |
|NASHVILLE (AP) — The NCAA placed Lane College in Jackson on probation for four years for major violations in the school’s athletic program. |
The NCAA announced the penalty Wednesday in Indianapolis and said the case involved multiple violations over several years, which led to a “lack of institutional control” and a “failure to monitor.”
Besides probation, the small private school in Jackson received a reduction in available scholarships and ineligibility for telecasts for the next two academic years.
The NCAA’s Division II Committee on Infractions said 32 student-athletes in eight sports were allowed to practice, compete and receive financial aid while ineligible from the 2001-02 through 2006-07 academic years.
Another 48 students in seven sports competed without being included on squad lists, according to a news release by the NCAA. Four of them were in baseball, 13 in men’s basketball, nine in women’s basketball, one in women’s cross country, 15 in football, five in softball and one in women’s volleyball.
Even when given information by the NCAA regarding possible violations, the former athletics director and the college did not detect them in a timely fashion, the NCAA said.
“In fact, more than half of the student-athletes who competed while ineligible did so after the former director of athletics was given notice that possible problems existed,” the NCAA said.
The college also failed to respond to enforcement staff inquiries fast enough, did not conduct adequate reviews of possible problems and submitted incomplete and inaccurate responses to inquiries made by the enforcement staff.
The committee did say Lane College made improvements in the administration of the athletics program since 2005. A position for a compliance officer is now funded, a certification team has been created and both the faculty athletics representative and the registrar have received or will receive NCAA rules training.
President Wesley Cornelious said the school cooperated fully with the NCAA during its investigation and finds the penalties “fair and just.” He said he’s placed the athletics department under the direct supervision of the president’s office.
“We are pleased that the Committee on Infractions is satisfied with the strong and swift corrective action that we have already put into place,” Cornelious said in a statement. “I am confident that these changes in our athletics policies and procedures will restore our athletics program to the level of prominence that it enjoyed in the past.”
The NCAA said the improvements already made by the college helped mitigated the penalties imposed by the committee.
Key penalties, some of which were self-imposed by the institution and adopted by the committee, are as follows:
• Public reprimand and censure.
• Four years of probation from Feb. 27, 2008 to Feb. 26, 2011.
• Vacation of all wins in which ineligible student-athletes participated. The school also must reconfigure the records of the head coaches in the affected sports to reflect the vacated performances.
• The school’s athletics teams cannot appear in any telecast during the 2008-09 and 2009-10 academic years.
• Reduction in scholarships for football, men’s basketball and women’s basketball for the academic years 2008-09 and 2009-10. The dollar amount of financial aid awards given in these years must total no more than 90 percent of the amounts awarded in those sports during the 2006-07 and 2007-08 academic years.
The NCAA’s Division II Committee on Infractions consists of conference and institutional athletics administrators, faculty and a member of the public.
The committee’s findings may be appealed to the Division II Infractions Appeals Committee.