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Mississippi Valley State placed on two years probation by NCAA

January 23, 2001

INDIANAPOLIS---Mississippi Valley State University has been placed on two years of probation and NCAAshow-cause penalties have been imposed on three former staff members for violations of bylaws governing academic fraud and unethical conduct.

A show-cause penalty requires any NCAA institution seeking to employ the individual to appear before theCommittee on Infractions to determine whether the individual's athletically related duties should be limited for a specified time.

The Division I Committee on Infractions, which conducted a hearing on the Mississippi Valley case November 4, 2000, considered the violations to be limited in scope and said they provided no recruiting or competitive advantage. But the committee determined the violations were major because of the knowing involvement by former university staff, enrolled students, student-athletes and prospective student-athletes.

Violations in this case were discovered and self-reported to the NCAA by university officials.

Between August 1997 and September 1998, an assistant men's basketball coach, the athletic trainer and the student union director were involved in arranging for individuals to take college entrance exams for others.

According to evidence provided to the Committee on Infractions, the assistant coach or athletic trainer recruited nine students or student-athletes on various occasions to take the entrance examination. The student union director provided false temporary identification cards for the test takers, which they used in perpetrating the test fraud.

All who agreed to take the tests on behalf of others were suspended from the university in the fall of 1998.

Ultimately, all involved in the scheme either did not enroll or had their admission revoked by the university.

The Committee on Infractions found that the former assistant coach, athletic trainer and student union director all violated NCAA legislation regarding ethical conduct. The athletic trainer was the only one of the three to respond to the allegations. He did not contest the facts but stated the test fraud was initiated by others in positions of authority. Committee members found that the weight of the evidence supported that no other institutional staff members were involved or aware of the test-taking scheme.

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