JONESBORO (3/11/11) – The NCAA Committee on Infractions notified Arkansas State University through a press release today that it has accepted ASU's and the NCAA Enforcement Staff's joint summary disposition report, resolving ASU's infractions case that has been ongoing for the past 31 months.
The NCAA Committee on Infractions accepted ASU's self-imposed penalties without any further sanctions, bringing closure to ASU's case involving NCAA violations pertaining to student-athletes not meeting progress-toward-degree requirements from the 2005-06 academic year through the fall semester of 2008-09.
Working alongside the NCAA Enforcement Staff and Sun Belt Conference entities, Arkansas State conducted a full and thorough internal investigation beginning in August 2008 that confirmed 31 student-athletes from six sports competed in an NCAA-sanctioned event while ineligible over the three-year period.
The investigation also brought to light academic fraud regarding one faculty member and one student-athlete who would have been eligible regardless of the grade change.
During the investigation, ASU gave full disclosure to the NCAA and was committed to fully complying with any requests made by the NCAA to ensure that every possible effort was made to rectify the situation.
"After working diligently through this process with the NCAA and Sun Belt Conference, we can now bring closure to this case and maintain the comprehensive actions we have put in place to prevent such occurrences in the future," said ASU Director of Athletics Dr. Dean Lee. "The NCAA Enforcement Staff has commended us for all the corrective measures we have already taken, and we will remain proactive as we move forward."
ASU's corrective actions thus far have included consultant review, policy and procedure revisions, personnel changes, departmental restructuring and additional educational and training programs.
"We are pleased that this matter has been resolved and that the NCAA Committee on Infractions agreed to the facts of this case as reported previously in our joint summary disposition report," said ASU Interim Chancellor Dr. Howard. "We will continue to take all steps necessary to ensure these infractions do not occur again."
Arkansas State and the NCAA Enforcement staff agreed the violations were unintentional and that no athletic department staff members or student-athletes had any knowledge that a violation had occurred. Further, there was no evidence found that the violations were deliberate or occurred with the intent to gain a competitive advantage.
It was the finding of ASU and the NCAA Enforcement staff that all of these violations were not due to a lack of institutional control and was not a case of systematic failure.
Under NCAA Bylaws, an institution is subject to a secondary violation when a student-athlete competes in an NCAA event while ineligible due to not meeting progress-toward-degree requirements. In ASU's situation, the infractions were elevated to a major violation because a large number of student-athletes competed under these circumstances.
In addition to self-reporting all the violations, Arkansas State University submitted the following self-imposed penalties that have been accepted by the NCAA Infractions Committee:
*A probationary period reflects the amount of time in which the university is monitored by the NCAA for compliance. A probationary period in no way affects an institution's postseason play or a student-athlete's career at that institution.