UVA Adds Measures for Recruited Athletes

University conducted review after scandal broke.

August 12, 2019

The University of Virginia will no longer solicit or accept contributions from prospective athletes or their families.

That policy change was announced Friday after the university conducted a review of the admission of athletes in the wake of the scandal involving people who pretended to be athletes at the University of Southern California and other institutions. Timothy Heaphy, who serves as university counsel and is a former U.S. attorney, conducted the review of the last four years of admissions.

The review didn't uncover any instances of fraudulent SAT or ACT scores, misrepresentation of credentials, or private payments made to coaches or admissions officials.

A university news release said, "The review did identify a small number of cases from several years ago where the prospect of a gift appears to have motivated the recruitment of student-athletes. The review also found a few instances where recruited student-athletes did not ultimately participate on the team for which they were recruited, for reasons the university was unable to confirm."

In light of those findings, the university adopted new rules on fundraising and other measures as well. The university will:

  • "Independently verify information supplied by coaches about all recruited student-athletes."
  • Audit the rosters of all athletic teams to assure "the participation of all recruited student-athletes."
  • "Require all recruited student-athletes to pledge, at the time of admission, to participate in the sports programs for which they have been recruited and allow rescission of admission offers if the student-athletes do not participate and the university concludes their pledges were not sincere."

“We are striving to be a university that is both great and good,” said a statement from President Jim Ryan. “This requires, in athletics, that we continue to aim for success in competition and that we also continue to uphold the highest standards in our recruitment and in our commitment to academic achievement.”

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Scott Jaschik

Scott Jaschik, Editor, is one of the three founders of Inside Higher Ed. With Doug Lederman, he leads the editorial operations of Inside Higher Ed, overseeing news content, opinion pieces, career advice, blogs and other features. Scott is a leading voice on higher education issues, quoted regularly in publications nationwide, and publishing articles on colleges in publications such as The New York Times, The Boston Globe, The Washington Post, Salon, and elsewhere. He has been a judge or screener for the National Magazine Awards, the Online Journalism Awards, the Folio Editorial Excellence Awards, and the Education Writers Association Awards. Scott served as a mentor in the community college fellowship program of the Hechinger Institute on Education and the Media, of Teachers College, Columbia University. He is a member of the board of the Education Writers Association. From 1999-2003, Scott was editor of The Chronicle of Higher Education. Scott grew up in Rochester, N.Y., and graduated from Cornell University in 1985. He lives in Washington.

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