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Florida A&M failed to monitor athletics programs

Download the Florida A&M University public infractions decision

Florida A&M University failed to monitor its athletics programs when it did not appropriately notify student-athletes about scholarship reductions and properly administer eligibility requirements, according to a decision issued by a Division I Committee on Infractions panel. The violations impacted all of the university’s athletics programs. The panel noted that some of the violations in this case were nearly identical to violations that occurred in the school’s 2006 infractions case. 

Penalties in the case include four years of probation, external compliance audits and a fine. The money will be retained by the university and used for compliance-related activities.

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, the university and any participating involved individuals must agree to the facts of the case in order to utilize this process instead of a formal hearing.

During the summer of 2013, the school did not provide 19 student-athletes written notification of reductions in athletics scholarships before July 1. The financial aid office stated that it did not generate notification letters prior to this deadline because some coaches did not communicate athletics scholarship decisions to the compliance office in time.

The university also did not ensure that 259 student-athletes completed required documentation prior to participation over the course of three academic years, including drug-testing consent and other eligibility-related statements. Further, the university failed to make sure that 18 student-athletes completed a medical exam within six months before participating in practice. The university’s training staff believed that student-athlete physicals remained valid for one year and was unaware of NCAA rules that required a new physical within six months of the start of practice.

Penalties and corrective measures include:

  • Public reprimand and censure.
  • Four years of probation from Nov. 20, 2015, through Nov. 19, 2019.
  • For each year of the probationary period, the university must undergo an independent, external review of the compliance program.
  • A $5,000 fine plus two percent of the school’s average athletics budget for the previous three years. The money must be applied to the cost of the external compliance reviews and other compliance-related costs.
  • The athletics director, senior woman administrator, faculty athletics representative and compliance staff must attend an NCAA Regional Rules Seminar during each year of the probation period.
  • A prohibition of university staff members serving on the Board of Directors, Council or other Association committees for two years.

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 Thomas Hill, senior vice president for student affairs at Iowa State University; Eleanor W. Myers, law professor at Temple University; Dave Roberts, vice president for athletics compliance at the University of Southern California; Greg Sankey, chair of the Committee on Infractions and commissioner for the Southeastern Conference; and Sankar Suryanarayan, chief hearing officer and university counsel at Princeton University.