A Susquehanna University booster provided $14,860 to help pay a football student-athlete’s outstanding educational expenses, according to a decision issued by the NCAA Division III Committee on Infractions. The student-athlete enrolled and competed for the university during the fall of 2015 while ineligible because of the impermissible payment on his behalf.
This case was resolved through the summary disposition process, a cooperative effort in 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 of the case for this process to be used instead of having a formal hearing.
During an inquiry by the university’s outside counsel, another booster reported that he heard about the student-athlete’s financial difficulties from a fellow alumnus but did not disclose who made the payment on the student-athlete's behalf. The issue resurfaced several months later when the first booster told two football coaches that he was involved in paying the student-athlete’s expenses.
While the committee found the student-athlete had no knowledge of the payment, it noted that the booster made the payment at the request of the student-athlete’s mother.
The penalties include:
- Public reprimand and censure.
- Two years of probation from Nov. 22, 2016, through Nov. 21, 2018.
- A one-year football postseason ban following the 2016 season (self-imposed by the university).
- A vacation of wins in which the student-athlete competed while ineligible. The university indicated that five wins from the 2015 season will be vacated (self-imposed by the university).
- The school permanently disassociated the booster who paid the expenses on the student-athlete's behalf. As a part of the disassociation, the university removed the booster’s name from its football stadium and offered to refund the donation. It also disassociated the second booster for five years (self-imposed by the university).
The members of the Division III Committee on Infractions who reviewed this case included Amy Hackett, committee chair and director of athletics at the University of Puget Sound; Effel Harper, faculty athletics representative at the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor; Tracey Hathaway, associate director of athletics for compliance and student-athlete welfare at the University of Massachusetts Boston; Gerald Houlihan, attorney in private practice; and Gerald Young, athletics director at Carleton College.