The NCAA Committee on Infractions (“Committee” or “Panel”) recently issued its findings and found that Florida A&M University (“FAMU” or “Institution”) committed violations of NCAA legislation. The Committee considered this case through the cooperative summary disposition process in which all parties agreed to the primary facts and violations, as fully set forth in the summary disposition report (“SDR”).
The agreed-upon violations centered on the institution’s failure to properly administer general student-athlete eligibility and playing season requirements between the 2010-11 and 2013-14 academic years and financial aid requirements during the summer of 2013. The parties agreed that these violations were Level II. Additionally, the parties agreed that, by failing to comply with bylaws relating to the administration of general student-athlete eligibility and playing season requirements, and by not meeting its obligation to provide written notification of reductions in student-athletes’ financial aid, the institution failed to monitor its athletics programs in accordance with NCAA Constitution 2.8.1. As with the core violations, the parties agreed that this failure to monitor was Level II.
The Committee found the following violations of NCAA legislation:
Violations of NCAA Division I Manual Bylaws 220.127.116.11, 18.104.22.168-(b), 22.214.171.124 and 126.96.36.199- (c) (2010-11 through 2013-14)
During the 2010-11 through 2013-14 academic years, the institution failed to ensure that 259 student-athletes completed student-athlete statements prior to participation in intercollegiate competition and drug-testing consent forms prior to practice or competition or before the fourth week of classes, or failed to maintain those forms on file.
Violations of NCAA Division I Manual Bylaws 17.1.5 (2010-11, 2011-12 and 2013-14)
During the 2010-11, 2011-12 and 2013-14 academic years, the institution failed to ensure that 18 student-athletes completed a medical examination within six months before participation in practice.
Violations of NCAA Division I Manual Bylaw 188.8.131.52 (2012-13)
During the summer of 2013, the institution failed to provide 19 student-athletes written notification of a change in their athletics aid prior to July 1, 2013.
Violations of NCAA Division I Constitution 2.8.1 (2010-11 through 2013-14)
The scope and nature of the violations set forth above demonstrate that the Institution failed to appropriately monitor the administration of general student-athlete eligibility and playing season requirements and did not satisfy its obligation to provide written notification of student-athletes’ reduction in athletics aid.
Regarding the Institution’s failure to appropriately monitor the administration of general student-athlete eligibility requirements, during the 2010-11 through 2013-14 academic years, the institution failed to ensure 259 student-athletes properly completed student-athlete statement and drug-testing consent forms and/or those documents were kept on file for later examination.
Regarding the Institution’s failure to appropriately monitor the administration of playing season requirements, during the 2010-11, 2011-12 and 2013-14 academic years, the institution failed to ensure that its head athletic trainer received proper NCAA rules education about mandatory medical examination legislation, contributing to 18 student-athletes not completing their medical examinations within six months before participation in practice.
Regarding the Institution’s failure to appropriately monitor its obligation to provide written notification of student-athletes’ reduction in athletics aid, during the summer of 2013, the institution failed to confirm 19 student-athletes received written notification of a reduction in their athletics aid before July 1, 2013.
Aggravating and Mitigating Factors in accordance with NCAA Bylaws 19.9.3 and 19.9.4.
FAMU’s Aggravating Factors were as follows: A history of major violations by the institution (NCAA Bylaw 19.9.3-(b)) and Multiple Level II violations by the institution (NCAA Bylaw 19.9.3-(g)).
FAMU’s Mitigating Factors were as follows: Prompt acknowledgment of the violation, acceptance of responsibility and imposition of meaningful corrective measures and/or penalties (NCAA Bylaw 19.9.4-(b)).
As a result of the aforementioned violations, the Committee penalized FAMU as follows:
1. Four years of probation from November 20, 2015 to November 19, 2019.
2. FAMU shall pay a one-time fine of $5,000 plus an amount equal to two percent (2%) of the institution’s average athletics budget for the previous three years.These monies shall be retained by the institution and applied to the cost of the external compliance reviews required below. If any funds remain after payment for the reviews, those funds shall be applied to other compliance-related costs, including adding compliance staff and funding expenses associated with ensuring that the institution is in compliance with requirements for student-athletes’ medical documentation.
3. Public reprimand and censure.
4. Institutional staff members shall be prohibited from serving on the Board of Directors, Council or other committees of the Association for two years.
5. For each year of the probationary period, the institution shall have an independent, external agency or consultant experienced in NCAA compliance matters conduct a thorough review of the institution’s athletics compliance program. The first year’s external review shall establish a “baseline,” and the subsequent external reviews shall include an assessment of the institution’s efforts to address the recommendations or issues identified in the previous year’s review, in addition to including any new issues or recommendations.
6. During each year of the probationary period, the director of athletics, the senior woman administrator the faculty athletics representative and all compliance office personnel shall be required to attend NCAA Regional Rules Seminars.