Text Size   Decrease Font SizeIncrease Font Size
int_slide_copy

The NCAA Committee on Infractions Has Spoken: Mississippi Valley State University

Print
Written by Christian Dennie   
Monday, 03 April 2017 15:07

The NCAA Committee on Infractions (“Committee” or “Panel”) recently issued its findings and found that Mississippi Valley State University (“MVSU” or “Institution”) committed violations of NCAA legislation. This case involved improper eligibility certifications at MVSU. It also involved a former head cross country coach directing student-athletes to compete under assumed names. The Panel considered this case through the cooperative summary disposition process in which all parties agreed to the primary facts and violations, as fully set forth in the summary disposition report (“SDR”). The Panel proposed further penalties to the Institution and the former head coach. Because the parties agreed to the proposed penalties, there is no opportunity to appeal.

The Committee concluded that MVSU committed the following violations:

Violations of NCAA Division I Manual Bylaws 12.1.1.1.3 (2011-12); 14.10.1 (2011-12); 14.5.4.2 and 16.8.1.2 (2011-12 and 2012-13); 14.01.1 and 15.01.5 (2011-12, 2012-13 and 2014-15); 14.4.3.1 and 14.4.3.2 (2011-12 through 2014-15); 14.11.1 (2012-13); 14.4.3.1.2, 14.5.4.1 and 16.8.1 (2013-14 and 2014-15); 14.9.1 (2013-14); and 12.10.1, 14.3.2.1.1 and 14.5.5.1 (2014-15)

The Institution and NCAA enforcement staff agreed that between the 2011-12 and 2014-15 academic years, the Institution improperly certified as eligible 28 student-athletes in seven (7) sports. As a result, the student-athletes practiced, competed, received athletically related financial aid and/or received actual and necessary expenses while ineligible.  

Between the 2011-12 and 2014-15 academic years, 16 student-athletes competed and/or received actual and necessary expenses while ineligible due to not successfully meeting percentage-of-degree requirements. Additionally, the Institution failed to withhold one of the student-athletes from competition before his eligibility was reinstated. NCAA Bylaws 14.4.3.2 (2011-12 through 2014-15); 14.11.1 (2012-13); 16.8.1 (2013-14); and 16.8.1.2 (2011-12 and 2012-13).

Between the 2011-12 and 2012-13 academic years, six (6) two-year college transfer student-athletes who were not qualifiers practiced, competed, received athletically related financial aid and/or received actual and necessary expenses while ineligible due to not successfully meeting applicable transfer eligibility requirements. Additionally, the Institution failed to withhold one of the student-athletes from competition before his eligibility was reinstated. NCAA Bylaws 14.5.4.2, 15.01.5 and 16.8.1.2 (2011-12 and 2012-13) and 14.11.1 (2012-13).

Between the 2011-12 and 2014-15 academic years, six (6) student-athletes competed and/or received actual and necessary expenses prior to having their amateurism and/or academic eligibility certified. NCAA Bylaws 12.1.1.1.3, 14.10.1 and 16.8.1.2 (2011-12); 12.10.1 (2014-15); 14.01.1 (2011-12, 2013-14 and 2014-15); 14.9.1 (2013-14); and 16.8.1 (2013-14 and 2014-15).

Between the 2011-12 and 2014-15 academic years, four (4) continuing student-athletes competed and/or received actual and necessary expenses while ineligible due to not successfully meeting applicable credit-hour requirements. NCAA Bylaws 14.4.3.1 (2011-12 through 2014-15); 16.8.1.2 (2011-12 and 2012-13); and 16.8.1 (2013-14 and 2014-15).

During the 2014-15 academic year, three (3) first-year student-athletes practiced and received athletically related financial aid as nonqualifiers. NCAA Bylaws 14.3.2.1.1 and 15.01.5 (2014-15).

Between the 2013-14 and 2014-15 academic years, two (2) two-year college transfer student-athletes who were qualifiers competed and received actual and necessary expenses while ineligible due to not successfully meeting credit-hour and other applicable transfer eligibility requirements. NCAA Bylaws 14.4.3.1.2, 14.5.4.1 and 16.8.1 (2013-14 and 2014-15).

During the 2014-15 academic year, one (1) international four-year college transfer student-athlete competed and received actual and necessary expenses in her first year in residence at the Institution, without having satisfied the one-time transfer exception. NCAA Bylaws 14.5.5.1 and 16.8.1 (2014-15).

Violations of NCAA Division I Manual Constitution 2.8.1 (2011-12 through 2014-15)

The Institution and NCAA enforcement staff agreed that between the 2011-12 and 2014-15 academic years, the scope and nature of the violations detailed above demonstrate that the Institution violated the principle of rules compliance when it failed to monitor the certification of student-athletes' eligibility to ensure compliance with NCAA legislation. Specifically, the Institution (1) misapplied progress-toward-degree legislation; (2) failed to certify the academic credentials of entering, continuing and transfer student-athletes; and (3) did not verify student-athletes' amateurism certification for sports in which they competed.

Violations of NCAA Division I Manual Bylaws 10.01.1, 10.1, 10.1-(i), 11.1.1.1, 12.01.1, 14.01.1, 14.4.3.2, 14.4.3.3 and 16.8.1 (2014-15)

The Institution, then head men's and women's track and field and cross country coach (former head coach) and NCAA enforcement staff agreed that on August 30, 2014, the former head coach permitted three (3) then men's cross country student-athletes to compete and receive actual and necessary expenses in conjunction with a cross country meet knowing the Institution had not determined whether they were eligible. Additionally, the former head coach violated the NCAA principles of ethical conduct when she permitted the three (3) student-athletes to compete under assumed names or with intent to otherwise deceive. The former head coach's actions also violated NCAA head coach responsibility legislation as she is presumed responsible for the violations and did not rebut that presumption.

Aggravating and Mitigating Factors in accordance with NCAA Bylaws 19.9.3 and 19.9.4

Aggravating Factors for the Institution

(a) A history of major violations by the institution. NCAA Bylaw 19.9.3-(b).

(b) Multiple Level II violations by the institution or involved individuals. NCAA Bylaw 19.9.3-(g).

(c) Person of authority condoned, participated in or negligently disregarded the violation or related wrongful conduct. NCAA Bylaw 19.9.3-(h).

Mitigating Factors for the Institution

(a) Prompt acknowledgment of the violation, acceptance of responsibility and the imposition of meaningful corrective measures and/or penalties. NCAA Bylaw 19.9.4-(b).

Aggravating Factors for the Former Head Coach

(a) Unethical conduct. NCAA Bylaw 19.9.3-(e).

(b) Person of authority condoned, participated in or negligently disregarded the violation or related wrongful conduct. NCAA Bylaw 19.9.3-(h).

(c) Intentional, willful or blatant disregard for the NCAA Constitution or bylaws. NCAA Bylaw 19.9.3-(m).

Mitigating Factors for the Assistant Coach

(a) Prompt acknowledgment of the violation and acceptance of responsibility. NCAA Bylaw 19.9.4-(b).

As a result of the foregoing, the Committee penalized MVSU as follows: 

1. Public reprimand and censure.

2. Two (2) years of probation from March 24, 2017, to March 23, 2019.

3. The Institution shall pay a $5,000 fine.

4. The former head coach received a one-year show cause penalty in effect from March 24, 2017 to March 23, 2018.

5. The Institution shall vacate all regular season and conference tournament records and participation in which the ineligible student-athletes detailed above participated.

For any questions, feel free to contact Christian Dennie at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

 

Recent News

Barlow Garsek & Simon, LLP Named "Best Law Firm" by U.S. News & World Report and Best Lawyers for 20

Barlow Garsek & Simon, LLP was named a Tier 1 "Best Law Firm" by U.S. News & World Report and by Best Lawyers for ...

[Read More]

Ten BGS Lawyers Listed as Top Attorneys by 360 West Magazine

In 360 West Magazine's annual list of "Top Attorneys", ten (10) Barlow, Garsek & Simon attorneys were recognized by their peers as being among the best ...

[Read More]
 

Contact Us

Barlow Garsek & Simon, LLP
920 Foch Street
Fort Worth, Texas 76107
Phone: 817.731.4500
Fax: 817.731.6200

Southlake Location
1207 S. White Chapel Blvd., Ste. 150B
Southlake, TX 76092

©2015 Barlow Garsek & Simon, LLP
Disclaimer
Law Firm Web Design by The Modern Firm