NCAA Punishes Saint Leo U.

October 22, 2009

Saint Leo University, in Florida, has been punished by the National Collegiate Athletic Association for major violations by its cross country and swimming programs. Monday, in a public report, the Division II Committee on Infractions noted that the current and former head coaches of the men’s cross country team -- whom the NCAA did not identify but are Melissa Miller and Cyle Sage, respectively -- knowingly allowed two athletes who were ineligible to participate in meets “ride with the team, receive travel expenses and participate under names of other teammates.” The two athletes were “partial qualifiers,” and therefore could practice with the team during the 2008-9 season but had to wait an additional year until improving their grades to participate in events. According to the report, Sage “provided false information when asked about the violations” and Miller “failed to report the known violations.” Sage also coached swimming at the institution. In another violation of rules, he provided “bicycles and bicycle parts, bike helmets, running shoes, sunglasses and other apparel” to athletes who were on both his swimming and cross-country teams for their use in triathlons. The NCAA has put Saint Leo on probation for two years and placed both Miller and Sage on two-year “show cause” penalties – meaning any institution that hires them during that period must report to the NCAA how it will monitor their behavior so that future violations will not occur.

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