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Jackson State violated NCAA rules

Download the Oct. 2020 Jackson State University Public Negotiated Resolution

Jackson State violated NCAA certification and recruiting rules, according to an agreement released by the Division I Committee on Infractions.

The university and the NCAA enforcement staff agreed that 34 student-athletes practiced and competed before receiving final certification from the NCAA Eligibility Center. Because systems in place at the time did not detect or prevent the violations, the university agreed that it failed to monitor its certification process.

According to the agreement, a former football internal operations staff member violated recruiting rules when she impermissibly provided $300 to the godmother of a football prospect. The former staff member also impermissibly arranged for tutoring to assist the prospect in completing courses needed to be eligible after transferring.

This case was processed through the negotiated resolution process. The process was used because the university, the former staff member and the NCAA enforcement staff agreed on the violations and the penalties. The Division I Committee on Infractions reviewed the agreement to determine whether the resolution was in the best interests of the Association and whether the agreed-upon penalties were reasonable. Negotiated resolutions may not be appealed and do not set case precedent for other infractions cases.

The university, former staff member and the enforcement staff used ranges identified by the Division I membership-approved penalty guidelines for Level II – Standard penalties agreed upon for the university and Level II – Mitigated penalties for the former staff member. Those and other penalties, approved by the Committee on Infractions, are detailed below:

  • Two years of probation.
  • A fine of $5,000.
  • A 2% reduction in baseball scholarship equivalencies from the annual limit of 11.7 equivalencies during the 2021-22 academic year and a 2.5% reduction in football scholarship equivalencies from the annual limit of 63 equivalencies during the 2021-22 and 2022-23 academic years.
  • The football program must serve a one-week ban on unofficial visits in each of January, February, March and April 2021.
  • A reduction of four football official paid visits during the 2021-22 academic year.
  • The football program must serve a one-week ban of all recruiting communication contacts and off-campus recruiting by the entire football staff with any prospects, including transfers, in each of May and June 2021.
  • A vacation of records of contests in which student-athletes participated while ineligible. The university must provide a written report containing the contests impacted to the NCAA media coordination and statistics staff within 14 days of the public release of the decision.

Members of the Committee on Infractions are drawn from the NCAA membership and the public. The members of the panel who reviewed this case were Bobby Cremins, former head men’s basketball coach at Appalachian State, Georgia Tech and College of Charleston; Mary Schutten, executive vice president/provost at Central Michigan; and  Sankar Suryanarayan, chief hearing officer for the panel and university counsel at Princeton.