By Kendrick Marshall- HBCUSports.com
Southern University was cited for lack of institutional control when the school failed to monitor its eligibility certification process and properly apply financial aid rules in compliance with comply with Committee on Academic Performance penalties, the NCAA announced Wednesday.
Southern is accused of improperly certifying more than 200 athletes during a six-year period in all 15 sports, according to a NCAA report.
As a result, Southern agreed to self-imposed penalties of a 5,000 fine and scholarship reductions.
The NCAA explained that the school’s certification issues occurred for three “primary reasons.”
Errors that occurred when academic records were transferred from an outdated system to a new system; poor record keeping within the athletics department; and a lack of training and involvement by campus departments outside athletics in the certification process. These issues resulted in 439 instances of improper certifications for 218 student-athletes.
Over a four-year period, the university exceeded scholarship and counter limits in five sports when it did not properly apply financial aid rules to state tuition waivers. Louisiana state law allows all student-athletes who receive athletics scholarships to qualify for in-state tuition. NCAA rules require that tuition waivers like the Louisiana law be considered countable aid. In some instances, the university did not properly account for the waiver when determining scholarship packages for student-athletes, resulting in the university exceeding scholarship limits in baseball, women’s and men’s track, football and softball.
“The violations detailed in the public report mostly occurred in the past and no current student-athlete is ineligible as a result of the violations outlined in the public report,” said Southern interim athletics director Roman Banks.
Banks, who is also the men’s basketball coach, said the school “implemented significant corrective actions” over the last two years.
“Southern’s corrective actions have demonstrably succeeded in ensuring that Southern properly certifies the eligibility of its student-athletes,” said Banks. “In addition to correcting the problems outlined in this case, Southern’s initiatives have resulted in recent positive developments with the Academic Performance Program.”