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Despite arguing that it lacked resources to fully comply, Florida A&M has been placed on probation for five years by the NCAA Committee on Infractions. citing a "lack of institutionsl control" for not properly monitoring its athletics program.NCAAenhanced logo

According to the committee, the university improperly certified 93 student-athletes on 162 occurrences in 12 sports. 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. It 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.

The committee determined that while it was not indifferent to the financial challenges facing the university, the membership’s penalty guidelines require the committee to treat all schools the same, regardless of total operating budget.

The committee noted that this is the university’s third case involving certification issues in the past 19 years. It continued that the recent cases have served as a focal point for university leadership to make necessary changes to implement core compliance policies and procedures.

In its report, the committee noted that it “recognizes the university’s efforts — mainly hiring, training and maintaining individuals who are committed to improving the culture of compliance on the campus. Since 2015, those individuals have created and enhanced policies and procedures designed to meet NCAA rules and expectations. Those improvements, however, have only recently brought the university in line with what the NCAA membership has identified as a fundamental obligation of all Division I members — properly certifying student-athletes as eligible.”

The committee used the Division I membership-approved infractions penalty guidelines for a Level I-Aggravated case to prescribe the following measures:

  • Five years of 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 10% 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.
  • A $5,000 fine plus 3% of the total athletics budget.


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