NCAA Division I Committee on Infractions has penalized the University
of Colorado, Boulder, for major violations in its athletics program.
violations involve 133 non-scholarship student-athletes in six sports
being undercharged for training table meals. The impermissible benefits
totaled $61,700 over the course of six academic years and led to the
committee finding that the institution failed to monitor its training
for the violations include placing the university on two years of
probation; a fine of $100,000 to be paid to a charitable cause involved
in efforts to alleviate hunger and/or homelessness; and a reduction in
scholarships, among other sanctions.
institution, NCAA enforcement staff, and the infractions committee all
found that the violations were inadvertent and discovered by the
university's athletic staff, who promptly reported them to the NCAA.
While the committee also emphasized in its report that the violations
were "limited in nature and narrow in scope," they did constitute major
violations due to the amount of extra benefits involved. The Committee
on Infractions found the impermissible benefits for walk-on
student-athletes occurred during the 2000-01 through 2005-06 academic
involved two distinct circumstances. The first circumstance involved
walk-on student-athletes who ate training table meals even though their
practice schedules did not prohibit them from dining in the residence
halls. These student-athletes were allowed to eat training table meals
without being required to pay the difference between the regular dining
hall rate and the full training table price.
receiving athletic scholarships may receive, as a part of their
financial aid award, access to meals provided by the athletics
situation involved walk-on student-athletes living off-campus who had
legitimate conflicts between practice activities and their ability to
get to a dining hall prior to it closing for the day. It is allowable
in such instances for a walk-on student-athlete to eat at the training
table only if those individuals have previously purchased an
institutional meal plan or pay the full cost of the training table
meal. However, the university allowed off-campus walk-on
student-athletes who had not purchased institutional meal plans to eat
training table meals at the dining hall cost in these circumstances.
The committee found the university demonstrated a failure to monitor in
its training table program, noting the institution acknowledged it had
misapplied the training table regulations over an extended period of
In determining the
penalties, the Committee on Infractions considered the university's
self-imposed penalties and corrective actions. The penalties, some of
which were self-imposed by the institution and adopted by the
committee, are as follows:
Public reprimand and censure.Two years of probation (June 21, 2007 to June 20, 2009).Reduction
in football program scholarships by one during each of the 2007-08,
2008-09 and 2009-10 academic years, which limits the institution to 24
initial scholarships (Self-imposed by the university).Financial
penalty of $100,000 to be donated by the university at $50,000 per year
of probation to a charitable entity or entities involved in efforts to
alleviate hunger and/or homelessness in the community. The designated
charity or charities must be approved by the committee and cannot be an
entity in which any member of the athletics staff at the institution is
involved or affiliated. While the violations amounted to an extra
benefit of $61,700, the committee felt the $100,000 sanction was more
appropriate since the violations took place over six academic years and
involved 133 student-athletes in six sports.
Committee on Infractions consists of conference and institutional
athletics administrators, faculty and members of the public. The
committee independently rules on cases investigated by the NCAA
enforcement staff and determines appropriate penalties. The committee's
findings may be appealed to the Infractions Appeals Committee.
of the Committee on Infractions who reviewed this case are Paul Dee,
director of athletics at the University of Miami, formerly the
university's general counsel, and acting chair; Eileen Jennings,
general counsel at Central Michigan University; Alfred "Jim" Lechner,
Jr., attorney with the Westfield, N.J., law firm of Lerner David and
formerly a federal district judge in New Jersey; Gene Marsh, James M.
Kidd Sr. Professor of Law at the University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa
School of Law; Thomas Phillips, attorney with the Austin, Texas, office
of the law firm Baker Botts and formerly the chief justice of the Texas
Supreme Court; Bonnie Slatton, professor of physical education and
sport science, University of Iowa; and Dennis Thomas, the commissioner
of the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference and formerly director of
athletics at Hampton University.