The NCAA Committee on Infractions (“Committee” or “Panel”) recently issued its findings and found that Morehead State University (“MSU” or “Institution”) committed violations of NCAA legislation. This case involved progress-toward-degree violations in several sport programs at MSU. The Panel 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 Panel proposed further penalties to the Institution, including probation. Because the Institution agreed to the violations and penalties, there is no opportunity to appeal.
The Committee concluded that MSU committed the following violations:
Violations of NCAA Division I Manual Bylaws NCAA Division I Manual Bylaws 22.214.171.124 (2011-12 through 2014-15); 14.11.1 and 126.96.36.199 (2011-12 and 2012-13); 188.8.131.52-(b), 184.108.40.206-(c), 220.127.116.11.7-(b) and 14.10.1 (2013-14); 16.8.1 (2013-14 and 2014-15); and 12.11.1 (2014-15) (Level II)
The Institution and NCAA enforcement staff agreed that during the 2011-12 through 2014-15 academic years, the Institution improperly certified 49 student-athletes in nine sports as eligible for competition. As a result, the student-athletes competed while ineligible.
During the 2011-12 through 2014-15 academic years, 48 student-athletes in the sports of baseball, men’s and women’s basketball, men’s cross country, football, men’s golf, women’s soccer, softball, and women’s tennis competed without successfully completing their percentage-toward-degree requirements. As a result, the student-athletes received actual and necessary travel expenses for competition while ineligible. NCAA Division I Manual Bylaws 14.4.1 and 18.104.22.168 (2011-12 through 2014-15), 14.11.1 and 22.214.171.124 (2011-12 and 2012-13); 14.10.1 (2013-14); 16.8.1 (2013-14 and 2014-15); and 12.11.1 (2014-15).
During the 2013-14 academic year, one football student-athlete competed without satisfactory completion of at least 18 semester hours since the beginning of the previous fall term and at least six semester hours of degree credit toward his designated degree program during the preceding regular academic term. Additionally, the student-athlete received actual and necessary travel expenses for competition while ineligible. NCAA Division I Manual Bylaws 14.4.1, 126.96.36.199-(b), 188.8.131.52-(c), 184.108.40.206.7-(b), and 16.8.1 (2013-14).
Aggravating and Mitigating Factors in accordance with NCAA Bylaws 19.9.3 and 19.9.4
Aggravating Factors for the Institution
19.9.3-(b): The institution has a history of Level I, Level II or major violations.
Mitigating Factors for the Institution
19.9.4-(b): Prompt acknowledgement and acceptance of responsibility and imposition of meaningful corrective measures and/or penalties;
19.9.4-(d): Established history of self-reporting Level III or secondary violations; and
19.9.4-(g): The violations were unintentional, limited in scope and represent a deviation from otherwise compliant practices.
As a result of the foregoing, the Committee penalized MSU as follows:
1. Public reprimand and censure.
2. One year of probation from February 10, 2017, to February 9, 2018, or completion of the final penalty, whichever is later.
3. The Institution shall pay a $5,000 fine.
4. The Institution shall require all involved parties to attend NCAA Regional Rules Seminars for at least two years (2017-18) (registrar, assistant registrar, compliance, assistant compliance, faculty athletics representative, athletic director/Academic Services).
5. The Institution shall complete an Academic Progress Rate audit at the end of 2017-18 (all student-athletes).