FAMU penalized for athletics violations

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By: WCTV Eyewitness Sports
May 21, 2019

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) -- Florida A&M University faces a series of penalties after the NCAA found it lacked control of and did not monitor its athletics programs, resulting in systemic violations.

“While we cannot change the circumstances of the past, we have accepted full responsibility for the infractions and are committed to running an athletic program that is in full compliance with NCAA rules and regulation,” said FAMU President Larry Robinson, Ph.D. "Rest assured, we have taken significant steps to address these issues and reduce the likelihood of recurrence. We will meet and exceed the NCAA’s expectations to ensure that FAMU Athletics remains in compliance with its standards.”

“It’s a new day in FAMU Athletics. We are certain that with all we are doing and the commitment of Athletics and the University, we are continuing to build a program that Rattlers and supporters will be proud of. We look forward to your continued support of your favorite athletics program and believe there is a bright future ahead for FAMU Athletics,” added FAMU Director of Athletics John Eason, Ph.D.

The findings were released by the NCAA’s Division I Committee on Infractions Tuesday. According to the committee, the university improperly certified 93 student-athletes in 12 sports over a six-year period from 2010-11 through 2016-17.

The university certified student-athletes as eligible when they failed to fulfill required credit hours, did not complete required percentages of their degree by designated times, did not meet minimum GPA requirements and/or failed to meet transfer requirements or exceptions, said the committee.

FAMU also failed to certify a student-athlete’s amateurism status and allowed another student-athlete to compete after the student-athlete had exhausted all seasons of competition, according to the committee.

The committee prescribed a series of penalties on FAMU for the infractions:

  • Five years of probation.
  • A self-imposed 2019-20 postseason ban for football, baseball, men’s basketball, men’s track and field, women’s basketball and volleyball.
  • A vacation of records in which student-athletes competed while ineligible. The university must provide a written report containing the contests impacted to the NCAA media coordination and statistics staff within 45 days of the public decision release.
  • A reduction in scholarships by 10% for each of the following programs during the 2019-20 academic year: baseball, men’s basketball, men’s track and field, women’s basketball and volleyball.
  • A reduction in scholarships by 5% for the football program during the 2019-20 and 2020-21 academic years.
  • Recruiting restrictions for all sport programs during the 2019-20 and 2020-21 academic years. The public report contains specific detail on Page 16.
  • A $5,000 fine plus 3% of the total athletics budget.

    The school says these penalties are not related to APR scores. FAMU self-imposed postseason bans on four programs this past February for low APR scores over a period of four seasons.

    To learn more about FAMU's sanctions and probations, click here.

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