DIII Baldwin Wallace Self-Imposes Department-Wide Postseason Ban

Baldwin Wallace, a Division III school in suburban Cleveland, has self-imposed a postseason ban for all 23 of its varsity teams due to financial aid violations involving “a small percentage” of its athletes. From Baldwin Wallace’s president Dr. Robert C. Helmer:

“The University is obligated as an NCAA member to examine any possible failure to maintain full compliance and to take appropriate corrective action. Over the coming months, we will work cooperatively with the NCAA to determine a final resolution of the situation.”

Imposing postseason bans midyear is a drastic step. Doing it for every team suggests a large, systematic problem, and one that the administration will not be able to get a handle on for some time. A widespread cheating ring amongst athletes that the university knows involves every team but they have no idea exactly how many athletes is an example.

But with Division III financial aid violations, once you know you have a problem, it is relatively easy to isolate exactly which student-athletes are involved. DIII financial aid violations either involve athletics being used in financial aid decisions or athletes receiving a disproportionate amount of aid from a given program.

The violations normally involve individual financial aid administrators or individual funds. Student-athletes with financial aid decisions from those administrators or who received aid from those funds should be withheld from competition until cleared or reinstated. A postseason ban, which is probably coming, can be imposed for the 2013-14 academic year, lessening the impact on all student-athletes.

3 Responses to “DIII Baldwin Wallace Self-Imposes Department-Wide Postseason Ban”

  1. Inquiring parent

    Did the school receive an inquiry from the NCAA? Or was this a serendipitous finding by a new administration? Do you know the time frame of the irregularities?

    If this was an inquiry by the NCAA, is the inquiry available for review by the general public?

    I have a son who is a student athlete at BW. Will he be notified by the NCAA or will he receive notification by the school’s compliance officer if he one of the ‘small percentage’ (rumored to be 50 student athletes)?

    • John Infante

      It sounds like the school discovered the violation themselves, but I don’t know if I would call it serendipitous. Division III schools are required to check financial aid awarded to athletes and are also regularly audited by the NCAA.

      Aside from what was published in the papers, there is unlikely to be any more information available to the general public. If your son was one of the student-athletes identified as receiving impermissible aid, you will likely be notified either by the school’s compliance coordinator or someone in the school’s financial aid office.

  2. rweir400.yahoo.com

    Inquiring Parent:
    I am a track runner for BW. We were told that the the school went to the NCAA with the problem on a self report policy set forth by the NCAA. We questioned the president and he stated that it has been happening for about three to five years.
    You should be able to go to the NCAA site and find ongoing cases and BW should be in that catagory
    Your son should have met with the president Tues Oct. 30th where he told the team what had happened.

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