Sept. 11, 2003
Fresno State Hit With Ten
NCAA Rule Violations
FRESNO - Men's Basketball
is still trying to deal with the implications of the NCAA investigation
findings announced this week. FSU was placed on four years probation
on Wednesday. This, on top of self-imposed sactions by the university
in December of 2002, is a morale-buster for Fresno State's Mens
The NCAA cited numerous violations of bylaws
governing academic fraud, recruiting, eligibility, financial aid
(including awards and benefits), extra benefits, amateurism, coaching
limitations and playing and practice seasons legislation, including
a "lack of appropriate institutional controls" by the
Because of FSU's self-imposed sanctions, which included
a ban on last season's men's basketball postseason play and the
elimination of three men's basketball scholarships, the NCAA imposed
probation will be retroactive to December, 2002.
Also, the NCAA mandated that Fresno State
return 90 percent of the money earned during its appearance in the
2000 NCAA tournament and that the team's participation in the tournament
be expunged from the record.
The association's Division I Committee on Infractions
released a report detailing various violations of NCAA rules, including
an arrangement by a former team statistician and the team's former
academic adviser to provide written papers for two players and a
prospective student; a player's receipt of financial aid without
being enrolled as a full-time student; the use of correspondence
courses to meet eligibility requirements, and player benefits such
as complimentary tickets and cash travel stipends.
After a laundry list like this don't be surprised
if people are looking to Vanderbilt University's problems as a guide
to Fresno State's future. At that institution, the administration
trimmed its athletic department budget $1.5 million this year because
fund-raising is down, as are tickets sales in football and men's
A recent study found almost every NCAA school
regularly loses money on sports. Some are merging the athletic department
with the rest of the school to eliminate waste, cost overruns
and cheating on expenses submitted for reimbursement.
The NCAA schools have become so bitter over
recent news of cheating and ignoring rulesw that the Chancellor
at Vanderbilt University, Dr. Gordon Gee, announced this week that
the university will eliminate the school's athletic department and
move its functions directly under the central administration at
Vanderbilt. Stefan Fatsis, sportswriter for the Wall Street Journal,
explains (audio clip) that the move is the latest effort by
university administrators to curb the growth and independence of
large NCAA Division One sports programs.
[Editor's Note: Read the NCAA News
Release on FSU Violations in Men's Basketball.]
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