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Campbell did not monitor its eligibility certification process

Download the August 11, 2016 Campbell University Public Infractions Decision

Campbell University failed to monitor the eligibility certification of transfer student-athletes, according to a decision issued by a Division I Committee on Infractions panel. Over the course of five years, the university improperly certified 34 student-athletes as eligible in 10 sports when they failed to meet certain progress-toward-degree requirements. The university also allowed the student-athletes to compete while ineligible.

The panel accepted the university’s self-imposed penalties and added one year of probation, from Aug. 11, 2016, through Aug. 10, 2017, and a vacation of records in which ineligible student-athletes competed. Penalties self-imposed by the school include a one-year postseason ban for the baseball team, completed during the 2016 season; a reduction in baseball and wrestling practice hours during the 2015-16 season; a reduction in wrestling offseason hours during the 2015-16 season; and a fine. Some of those penalties were imposed due to the institution’s NCAA Academic Progress Rate (APR) failures. APR cases are separate from the infractions process.

This case was resolved through the summary disposition process, a cooperative effort during which the involved parties collectively submit the case to the Committee on Infractions in written form. The NCAA enforcement staff and the university must agree to the facts and overall level of the case in order to use this process instead of a formal hearing.

The university had a deficient eligibility certification process, particularly with regard to the progress-toward-degree certification of transfer student-athletes, according to the infractions panel. Additionally, the university did not listen to warnings from conference officials and the school’s own compliance office that the registrar, who served as the university’s certifying official, did not understand NCAA eligibility certification rules. The panel found the university did not monitor its certification process when it allowed the violations to occur by not taking action after hearing the warnings.

Penalties prescribed by the panel include the following:

  • Public reprimand and censure for the university.
  • One year of probation for the university from Aug. 11, 2016, through Aug. 10, 2017.
  • A vacation of wins in which student-athletes participated while ineligible. After the release of the public report, the university will identify the games affected.
  • Staff members responsible for eligibility certification must attend an NCAA Regional Rules Seminar in 2017.

The university self-imposed the following penalty in response to the infractions case:

  • A $5,000 fine.

The university self-imposed the following penalties in response to the APR case:

  • A reduction of baseball and wrestling practice hours from 20 to 16 per week during the 2015-16 playing and practice season, as well as an additional required day off.
  • A one-year baseball postseason ban for the 2015-16 season.
  • A 10 percent reduction in the 2015-16 playing and practice season for wrestling.
  • A reduction of wrestling offseason hours from eight to four hours per week during 2015-16.                                                                                                           

Members of the Committee on Infractions are drawn from NCAA membership and members of the public. The members of the panel who reviewed this case are John Black, attorney in private practice; Melissa Conboy, deputy director of athletics at the University of Notre Dame; Alberto Gonzales, dean of the law school at Belmont University and former attorney general of the United States; Joel Maturi, former University of Minnesota, Twin Cities, athletics director; Joseph Novak, former head football coach at Northern Illinois University; Larry Parkinson, chief hearing officer and director of enforcement for the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission; and Jill Pilgrim, attorney in private practice.