On Tuesday the NCAA Division I Committee on Infractions announced its first decision since November 2013 when it found that Howard University lacked institutional control of its athletics department. The violations centered around allowing athletes to use their book scholarships for impermissible items and the track programs use of an individual deemed a representative of Howard’s athletics interest to recruit and provide benefits to athletes from Kenya.
The violations involved athletes using their book scholarship money for items other than required course books and athletes being allowed to keep unspent scholarship dollars earmarked for tuition, housing and books. Additionally, a track and field coach developed a relationship with an individual in Kenya who assisted with the recruitment of prospects and provided $11,500 in extra benefits to five prospects including visa fees, transportation, apparel, and living expenses. Finally, the university provided financial aid to an athlete who had been deemed a nonqualifier.
The university was cited for lack of institution control based on failing to monitor how scholarships were dispersed and for not investigating and withholding athletes from competition when the violations started to come to light. The track and field coach was given a show-cause order for unethical conduct, which included providing the extra benefits and giving false/misleading information during the investigation.
Penalties on Howard University include:
- A fine of $140,000;
- Scholarship reductions in football, men’s basketball, women’s swimming, and men’s cross country/track & field;
- Vacation of wins in men’s cross country/track & field from 2011-12 and 2012-13; and
- Probation until May 2018.
This is also the first public report published that was decided by the new Committee on Infractions panel system. The panel in this case included the two former coaches added to the COI, former Michigan football head coach Lloyd Carr and former Georgia Tech men’s basketball head coach Bobby Cremins.