Alcorn State University failed to monitor its progress-toward-degree certification process when it improperly certified 28 student-athletes in 11 sports over the course of four academic years, according to a decision issued by a Division I Committee on Infractions panel.
The panel prescribed two years of probation, a $5,000 fine retained by the university for compliance education and a vacation of records for games in which ineligible student-athletes competed.
This case was resolved through the summary disposition process, a cooperative effort during which the involved parties collectively submit the case to the Committee on Infractions in written form. The NCAA enforcement staff and the university must agree to the facts and overall level of the case in order to use this process instead of a formal hearing.
The university and members of the NCAA staff discovered the incorrect certifications during an NCAA Division I Academic Performance Program audit. The staff members involved in the process did not understand the steps in the certification, which led to the registrar entering requirements incorrectly and the compliance director erroneously certifying eligibility based on the total hours earned, not those hours that were applicable to student-athletes’ degrees. The panel found the university did not provide adequate rules education to its academic advisors, which resulted in the school failing to monitor its certification process.
Penalties prescribed by the panel include the following:
- Public reprimand and censure for the university.
- A two-year probation period from Oct. 19, 2016, through Oct. 18, 2018.
- A vacation of records for games in which ineligible student-athletes competed. After the release of the public report, the university will identify the competitions affected.
- A $5,000 fine that will be retained by the university to be used for compliance education of the registrar, academic advisors and compliance staff.
Members of the Committee on Infractions are drawn from NCAA membership and members of the public. The members of the panel who reviewed this case are Britton Banowsky, executive director of the College Football Playoff Foundation; Bobby Cremins, former head men’s basketball coach at Georgia Tech; Alberto Gonzales, dean of the law school at Belmont University and former attorney general of the United States; Thomas Hill, senior policy advisor to the president of Iowa State University; Gary L. Miller, chancellor at the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay; Joseph Novak, former head football coach at Northern Illinois University; and David Roberts, chief hearing officer for this case and vice president for athletics compliance at the University of Southern California.