NCAA News Archive - 2000

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Infractions case: Youngstown State University


Feb 28, 2000 5:10:27 PM


The NCAA News

As a result of statute of limitation considerations and significant self-imposed penalties adopted by Youngstown State University, the NCAA Division I Committee on Infractions will impose no additional sanctions on the university for extra benefits and institutional control violations involving the university's football program.

Youngstown State and the NCAA enforcement staff agreed to use the summary-disposition process. The summary-disposition process is used when the university, enforcement staff and involved individuals agree on the facts of an infractions case and that those facts constitute major violations.

Information regarding the violations -- which occurred in the late 1980s and early 1990s -- became known during a criminal trial in March 1998. The Division I Committee on Infractions reviewed the case during its November 1999 meeting.

The university self-reported the violations to the NCAA once they became known. The infractions were otherwise outside the NCAA's four-year statute of limitations and, as such, are normally not required to be reported and processed. The committee commended the university for its thorough and aggressive pursuit of information relating to the finding of violations, despite the fact that the statute of limitations applied to the violations.

The case involved violations that concerned a representative of the university's athletics interests, who also was the chairperson of the university's board of trustees at the time.

The former trustee provided at least $10,000 to a former football student-athlete and arranged for the student-athlete to receive use of automobiles.

During the trial, the former student-athlete testified that he received cash and checks beginning in the fall of 1988 and continuing through the spring of 1992. In addition, a business associate of the athletics representative reported that he was involved in providing two or three autos for the student-athlete's use.

The committee said Youngstown State failed to provide appropriate institutional control in its football program by not thoroughly investigating possible violations of NCAA legislation after receiving information concerning possible violations in January 1994. The university reviewed its 1994 internal investigation as a part of its recently concluded examination and determined there that no in-depth investigation had been conducted.

In determining appropriate penalties to impose, the committee considered the following actions taken by the university:

* The university received formal compliance reviews by the Mid-Continent Conference in 1998 and 1999.

* Athletics department staff members have attended NCAA regional compliance seminars in each of the past six years.

* The university has added three new administrators to the department of intercollegiate athletics to assist with compliance-related activities.

* In 1997, the university adopted a manual that systematically delineates and reviews all policies and procedures and defines a formal approval policy process for the department of intercollegiate athletics.

The committee adopted as its own the following penalties proposed by the institution:

* The university will reduce by two the number of initial financial aid awards in the sport of football for the 2000-01, 2001-02 and 2002-03 academic years.

* The university will reduce by five the number of expenses-paid recruiting visits in the sport of football for the 2000-01, 2001-02 and 2002-03 academic years.

* The university will publicly reprimand the former trustee and booster and permanently disassociate him from the athletics programs.

* The university will publicly reprimand the former football student-athlete and permanently disassociate him from the athletics programs.

The committee decided not to impose additional penalties because of those self-imposed by Youngstown State, and also decided not to require the institution to forfeit its 1991 NCAA Division I-AA Football Championship or to reimburse funds resulting from participation in the championship.

The members of the Division I Committee on Infractions who heard this case are: Jack Friedenthal, committee chair and professor of law, George Washington University; Alice Gresham Bullock, dean, Howard University School of Law; Richard J. Dunn, professor of English, University of Washington; Frederick B. Lacey, attorney and retired judge, LeBoeuf, Lamb, Greene & MacRae, Newark, New Jersey; Gene A. Marsh, professor of law, University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa; Josephine R. Potuto, professor of law, University of Nebraska, Lincoln; and Thomas E. Yeager, commissioner, Colonial Athletic Association.

A copy of the complete report from the Division I Committee on Infractions is available on NCAA Online at www.ncaa.org.


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