The Albany State University athletic department will pay a $3,000 fine and will be on two years of probation by the NCAA, among other penalties, after the NCAA received violations reported by the university itself from 2016. The penalties announced today do not affect the current football team and its’ ability to play in the SIAC championship game scheduled for Saturday at the Albany State University Coliseum.

From the NCAA report: “Albany State (Georgia) committed multiple violations that established the university’s failure to monitor and lack of control over the administration of its athletics program, according to a decision issued by the NCAA Division II Committee on Infractions.

Specifically, the violations were in five areas: eligibility certification, financial aid, playing and practice seasons, extra benefits and athletics responsibilities.”

The violations reported by the university included:

1) Improperly certified 22 student-athletes in eight sports which led to 21 of those athletes competing while ineligible;

2) Canceled or decreased financial aid for 20 football student-athletes without giving them notice or hearing opportunities, against NCAA rules;

3) Violated practice and playing rules when it did not record countable athletically related hours in eight sports;

4) The university allowed extra benefits when it allowed two student-athletes to live rent free in the athletics facility for six weeks during the summer;

5) Last, NCAA rules state that a faculty athletics representative cannot hold an administrative or coaching position in the athletics department. The university violated that rule when it allowed the faculty athletics representative to serve simultaneously as the athletics director.

The NCAA committee prescribed the following penalties and corrective measures:

♦ Two years of probation.

♦ Scholarship reductions (self-imposed by the university), including:

♦ 2018-19 academic year: A 3.11 reduction in football and a 0.36 reduction in baseball.

♦ 2019-20 academic year: A 1.0 reduction in women’s basketball, 0.25 reduction in softball and a 0.6 reduction in men’s basketball.

♦ 2020-21 academic year: A 0.14 reduction in women’s volleyball and a 0.7 reduction in women’s track and field.

♦ A vacation of records in which student-athletes competed while ineligible (self-imposed by the university). The university must provide a written report containing the matches impacted to the NCAA media coordination and statistics staff within 45 days of the public decision release.

A statement from Albany State University said the university would fully comply with the decisions from the NCAA.

In response to the reporting of the violations, the university has announced changes to prevent further violations. Those include:

♦ Hiring (or selection) of new personnel in key athletic and institutional areas including the Department of Athletics, Office of the Registrar and the Office of Financial Aid;

♦ Creating a compliance committee that includes representatives from the Office of Financial Aid, Bursar, Academic Advising, Admissions, and the Office of the Registrar;

♦ Creating a certification team that certifies all student-athletes to ensure they are meeting institutional and NCAA eligibility requirements;

♦ Implementation of numerous checks and balances in systems which previously had none; and

♦ Established education sessions and trainings for institutional personnel within and outside of the athletics department.

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