Ineligible athletes, improper benefits and a lack of oversight within the Clark Atlanta University athletic program has earned the school a three-year NCAA probation period and a score of penalties, the NCAA announced last week.
The organization’s Committee on Infractions released its report on CAU following an investigation that began in March 2013 and found that three men’s basketball players and one women’s tennis player competed for the university while ineligible. The report detailed instances of assistant and volunteer coaches providing athletes with cash, airline travel discounts, and in one case, an illegally obtained student ID number to fraudulently register for classes in order to maintain academic eligibility.
CAU, which self-imposed several penalties after the initial provision of the report, will face the following sanctions:
- Three years of probation from January 24, 2014, through January 23, 2017. (The university proposed a one-year probationary period for the basketball and tennis programs).
- A $5,000 fine.
- A vacation of all men’s basketball wins in which student-athletes competed while ineligible (imposed by the school).
- A revocation of the 2011 SIAC Conference Championship for women’s tennis (imposed by the school).
- A one-year show-cause order for the former head coach. The public report contains the further details.
- A two-year show-cause order for the assistant coach. The public report contains the further details.
- A one-year show-cause order for the former volunteer coach. The public report contains the further details.
- A limit of nine total athletics scholarships for the men’s basketball program for the 2014-15 academic year, a reduction of one.
- A limit of four total athletics scholarships for the women’s tennis program for the 2014-15 academic year, a reduction of two.
- An external audit of the school’s athletics program must be conducted.
In a statement, Clark Atlanta officials said they are looking ahead to improvements in management of the athletic department.
“We cooperated fully with NCAA officials and are in accord with their recommendations,” CAU Chief Compliance Officer Robert Clark said. “After an aggressive investigation, thorough review and careful deliberation, we are moving forward in the right direction.” Clark added that the University is “serious and intentional about its reinvigorated focus on compliance training for athletes, coaches and staff.”