The NCAA Division I Committee on Infractions has placed Howard University on probation for four years beginning immediately for "major violations of NCAA bylaws". The investigation, explained in a 23 page document, began on December 22, 2011 and concluded 29 months later.
The sanctions involve (1) issuing student-athletes impermissible refunds or credits from unused portions of their athletics grant-in-aid awards; (2) permitting student-athletes to misuse their athletics grant-in-aid awards by purchasing items other than textbooks in the institutions bookstore; and (3) failing to withhold ineligible student-athletes from competition after being made aware of their involvement in NCAA violations.
Additionally a former head coach and a citizen of Kenya, who became an unauthorized athletics representative, had impermissible recruiting contacts with track and field and cross country prospective athletes and provided impermissible extra benefits to student-athletes who later enrolled at the institution. The head coach also failed to comply with a directive from the institution's department of athletics, which resulted in the awarding of financial aid to ineligible student-athletes.
As a result of these infractions, the Committee prescribed the following penalties, many of which were self-imposed by Howard.
- A four-year probationary period;
- A fine of $140.000;
- Reductions in grant-in-aid equivalencies for football, men's basketball, women's wimming, men's and women's cross country/track and field
- Recruiting restrictions, vacation of wins in men's cross country and track & field;
- Disassociation of an athletics representative;
- A three-year show-cause order for the conduct of the head coach.
“We are thankful to the NCAA Committee for its fair and thorough review of the facts,” said Howard University Interim President Wayne A.I. Frederick. “We have begun a new chapter at Howard University with bolstered campus-wide compliance initiatives, experienced athletics and compliance personnel and an unwavering commitment to pursue excellence in all aspects of athletics and university operations. I commend the Howard team including Intercollegiate Athletics and Enrollment Management for their diligence in designing and implementing a corrective action plan that strengthens the athletics program and advances the University’s ongoing NCAA compliance efforts.”
“This process has resulted in a meticulous review of our entire operations – in athletics and across the University landscape — to ensure that all touch points are adhering to NCAA compliance guidelines,” said Louis “Skip” Perkins Jr., athletics director.
“This has made us a stronger institution. We have learned from all of this and are committed to having an NCAA-compliant athletics program that continues to foster an environment of integrity and sportsmanship on and off the field of play.”
Perkins added, “The steps we have taken include revamping our athletics compliance operations, creating a Compliance Officers Group, improving our compliance education as well as the textbook distribution and return process, and the hiring of a new track & field coach. I would like to thank our leadership for their support of the many changes that have significantly bolstered our NCAA compliance, staff and student-athletes who have been professional and cooperative throughout the lengthy investigative process and to the Bison community who remain steadfast in their support of our student-athletes and Howard University.”