Lyndonville, Vt. -- Northern Vermont University-Lyndon received the final decision of the NCAA Division III Committee on Infractions today regarding violations that occurred between 2013 and 2017.
The violations were discovered in fall 2016 through routine NCAA reporting procedures. The NCAA found two violations. In the first, Lyndon considered athletics leadership for 17 student athletes when evaluating applicants for a scholarship if they also exhibited other leadership experience; and in the second, the role some admissions staff who also worked as part-time coaches played in packaging financial aid. These findings triggered the NCAA investigation, which began in October 2016 and concluded in January 2018. The scholarship had been eliminated before the NCAA began its investigation by rolling it into an award based on GPA. Additionally, staffing and reporting changes were made following a comprehensive internal investigation.
“As we have consistently done throughout this process, we take full responsibility for our lack of compliance with NCAA bylaws,” says NVU President Elaine Collins. “It is important to underscore that our student athletes were not responsible in any way for the violations the NCAA identified, nor did we intentionally violate NCAA rules for any sort of competitive advantage for our sports teams. To further protect our student athletes and to ensure this does not happen again, we have made significant changes to staffing and reporting structures to eliminate any possibility of this lack of institutional oversight in the future.”
The penalties imposed by the NCAA Committee on Infractions include: 1.) Public reprimand and censure; 2.) Four years of probation with the NCAA; 3.) A vacation of records from contests in which student-athletes competed while ineligible (during the 2013-2014, 2014-2015, 2015-2016, and 2016-2017 academic years); 4.) Attendance at NCAA Regional Rules Seminars each year of probation by the athletics director, compliance director, financial aid director, admissions director and/or dean of enrollment; 5.) Outside audit of the college’s athletics policies and procedures during the first and fourth years of probation, with an emphasis on financial aid policies and procedures; and 6.) A $2,500 fine.
Additionally, NVU-Lyndon has self-imposed the following corrective actions 1.) Institution of a robust campus education plan in regards to NCAA guidelines; 2.) Establishment of new admissions and financial aid policies and procedures; and 3.) Prohibition of athletic department employees from being employed by the admissions or financial aid departments.
“The NVU-Lyndon athletic program recognizes its responsibility to promote a culture of compliance so that our student athletes can continue to enjoy their athletic pursuits,” says President Collins. “We are incredibly proud of our student athletes for their personal and athletic integrity throughout this situation.”
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