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Manhattanville College failed to monitor its financial aid process, which led to student-athletes receiving more financial aid awards than the general student body, according to findings by the NCAA Division III Committee on Infractions. Penalties in this case include two years of probation and increased oversight requirements.
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.
During the 2009-10 academic year, international student-athletes received an average of $8,538 more in financial aid packages than non-student-athletes. The difference was most pronounced among men’s ice hockey student-athletes, who received an average of $1,730 more than other student-athletes and $9,671 more than non-student-athletes. While student-athletes comprised 22 percent of the international student body, those individuals received 34 percent of the total amount awarded and distributed as financial aid to international students. 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 college’s financial aid award process allows students to petition to have their awards adjusted. Seven (35 percent) of the incoming international men’s ice hockey student-athletes went through the adjustment process, resulting in their awards being increased by an average of $7,572. Other student-athletes saw their awards increased by an average of only $5,850, while non-student-athlete adjustments averaged only $4,711. The committee noted that the former vice president for enrollment services, who met regularly with the men’s and women’s ice hockey coaches, exercised sole discretion regarding the adjustments and failed to document his reasons for adjusting the aid of the international student-athletes.
The university failed to monitor the conduct and administration of the athletics program when its staff did not educate the admissions and financial aid personnel in the determination of financial aid awards. The college also failed to establish record-keeping procedures in the college’s financial aid appeals process. Because the college failed to keep records regarding the financial aid appeals process, it could not be determined whether the same types of violations occurred in previous years.
The penalties include:
The members of the Division III Committee on Infractions who reviewed this case include Keith Jacques, chair and attorney at Woodman, Edmands, Danylik, Austin, Smith and Jacques; Dave Cecil, director of financial aid at Transylvania State; Amy Elizabeth Hackett, director of athletics at University of Puget Sound; Nancy Meyer, director of women’s athletics at Calvin College; and Garnett Purnell, athletics director at Wittenberg University.