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Neumann University cited for financial aid violations

Neumann University committed major violations in its men’s and women’s ice hockey programs, according to findings by the NCAA Division III Committee on Infractions. Neumann’s violations include awarding the majority of international student scholarships to student-athletes during the 2007-08, 2008-09, 2009-10 and 2010-11 academic years. Penalties in this case include two years of probation, a fine of $10,000 and a postseason ban.

This case was resolved through the summary disposition process, a cooperative effort where the involved parties collectively submit the case to the Committee on Infractions in written form. The NCAA enforcement staff, university and involved individuals must agree to the facts of the case in order for this process to be utilized instead of having a formal hearing.

In this case, a financial aid program known as the Canadian International Student Initiative Grant (CISIG) was created during the 2005-06 academic year to bolster enrollment of international students. During the 2007-08, 2008-09 and 2010-11 academic years, 100 percent of the CISIGs were awarded to student-athletes in the sports of men’s and women’s ice hockey. Of the 38 grants awarded to students for the 2009-10 academic year, 97 percent of the recipients were in men’s (20) and women’s ice hockey (15), men’s soccer (1) and baseball (1). Because the percentages were not closely equivalent to the amount of student-athletes within the general student body, the school’s awards were in violation of Division III rules.

The committee noted the violations were not intentional and were the natural result of the ice hockey programs concentrating their recruiting efforts in Canada to a far more significant degree than Neumann’s admissions office. However, with the exception of one grant over a four-year span, the only students who received the awards were student-athletes. As a result, the CISIG became de facto athletics scholarships, awarded in a manner distinguishable from the general pattern of awarding aid to other recipients at the institution, the committee said.

The penalties include:

  • Public reprimand and censure.
  • Two years of probation from January 19, 2012, through January 18, 2014.
  • Effective immediately, any of the institution's athletics teams whose rosters include one or more students receiving Canadian International Student Initiative Grants and whose regular season performance affects playoff eligibility or seeding (e.g. ice hockey, soccer) shall end their seasons with the playing of their last regular season contest and shall not be eligible to participate in any postseason competition, including conference tournaments and NCAA championships. Any of the institution's athletics teams whose rosters include one or more student-athletes receiving the Canadian International Student Initiative Grants and whose regular season performance does not affect playoff eligibility or seeding (e.g. cross country, swimming and diving) will be eligible to participate in postseason competition, including conference tournaments and NCAA championships, so long as student-athletes receiving the Canadian International Student Initiative Grants are not included on the postseason roster.

The members of the Division III Committee on Infractions who reviewed this case include Keith R. Jacques, chair and attorney at Woodman, Edmands, Danylik, Austin, Smith and Jacques; Dave Cecil, director of financial aid at Transylvania State University; and Amy Elizabeth Hackett, director of athletics at University of Puget Sound. 

 

Public Infractions Report

Read the Public Infractions Report here.