NCAA Hands Down Penalties For Volleyball And Track
Oct. 21, 2005
MEMPHIS, Tenn. - The University of Memphis has accepted the NCAA's ruling of two years probation for violations involving the volleyball and men's track/cross country teams. The teams will remain eligible to compete in the post season. The Tiger volleyball team was found to be in violation of excessive athletically related activities, while two members of the men's track/cross country team submitted false transcripts to the University.
The ruling, which was issued on October 21, 2005, parallels the University of Memphis' decision to self impose penalties for the two programs. The NCAA's Division 1 Committee on Infractions approved the sanctions as part of the ruling but added the loss of an additional scholarship for the men's track/cross country program.
"This is a matter that we take very seriously," said Memphis Athletics Director R.C. Johnson. "We worked diligently with the NCAA on these issues and have taken steps to correct any shortfalls. It is my firm belief that these types of incidences will not occur again."
The University worked with the NCAA infractions committee in its investigation of the two programs after allegations surfaced pertaining to academic irregularities and excessive conditioning. The investigation also discovered the university's failure to adequately monitor one aspect of the volleyball violation and failure to adequately investigate anonymous information received about the two foreign track/cross country student-athletes.
The Tiger volleyball team was cited for a series of secondary violations that occurred over a three-year period that, when taken together, constitute a major violation. The violations were inadvertent but the coaching staff agreed with the NCAA that the staff had knowledge of legislation on playing and practice sessions and had a responsibility to ensure the volleyball program complied with the legislation limiting athletically related activities.
The volleyball program will receive two years probation, as well as a public reprimand and censure. The team will have its preseason practice opportunities shortened from 29 practices to 26 and spring conditioning will be reduced by one-week. The head coach is required to attend an NCAA Compliance Seminar at her own expense and will not attend one-week of spring conditioning. The coach will also have a letter of reprimand placed in her personnel file.
The staff and institution also agreed that the violations pertaining to the men's track/cross-country team, which related to two student-athletes who were allowed to practice and compete while academically ineligible, were major in nature. The NCAA found that the two track athletes used fraudulent transcripts to appear eligible for athletic aid and competition during the 2003-04 academic year and the institution failed to discover the fraud. No institutional staff member was found to be involved with, or have knowledge of, the fraud.
The men's track/cross country team will suffer a reduction of scholarships by a total of three for the 2005-06 and 2006-07 academic years, with the institution choosing which years the reductions will take place. Additionally, adjustments will be made in individual and team records for men's track/cross country to vacate the student-athletes' results for 2003-04. The two student-athletes have been declared ineligible by the University and are no longer competing for the U of M.
The NCAA and the University agreed to a summary disposition of this matter in July. Since that time, the University has taken steps to correct any compliance issues by hiring an Assistant Athletic Director for Compliance, solidifying a three-person staff to oversee athletic compliance issues.
In addition, the University is strengthening our compliance education program as well as the working relationships between all administrative offices with regard to NCAA issues.