Southern University "lacked institutional control when it failed to monitor its eligibility certification process, did not properly apply financial aid rules and did not comply with academic performance penalties," the National Collegiate Athletic Association announced Wednesday.
The association said that several errors occurred when the university attempted to transfer its academic records from an "outdated system to a new system," and that the athletic department did a poor job of record keeping. The mistakes led to 218 athletes across all of the university's sport programs being improperly certified. The university had also previously been placed on probation for not meeting the NCAA's academic performance benchmarks, a sanction that required the university to reduce its amount of in-season playing and practice times. "Because of turnover at the university, especially in the compliance office, the university did not communicate the restrictions to the coaches, and the penalties were not completed," the NCAA stated.
Southern University also exceeded scholarship limits in five sports when it failed to properly apply financial aid rules to tuition waivers provided by the state of Louisiana to college athletes.
The NCAA placed the university on probation for five years and will vacate records of games in which athletes participated while ineligible. The NCAA also accepted the university’s self-imposed penalties of a $5,000 fine and scholarship reductions across several programs, including women's soccer, softball, baseball, men's and women's basketball, and football.
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