Bears football, tennis and softball will be ineligible for postseason play for one year and will lose one percent of their overall budgets after NCAA officials found that the university improperly certified, played and awarded financial aid to 94 ineligible athletes in 10 sports between 2012 and 2015.
Other penalties include four years of probation, a $5,000 fine, scholarship reductions and recruiting restrictions in ten sports in the 2018-19 season.
From a release:
Due to the university’s lack of monitoring and control, student-athletes practiced and competed while ineligible. This included those who had not yet received their eligibility certification or met the eligibility standards. Other student-athletes competed while enrolled less than full-time, without meeting their progress-toward-degree requirements or after their eligibility was exhausted.
In a letter to the campus community, Morgan State President David Wilson said that the school successfully negotiated much harsher penalties down to the list of postseason absences, small fines and reductions.
Upon learning of the initial additional penalties that were to be levied on us, Athletics Director Edward Scott and I made the decision to appeal the judgment of the NCAA Infractions Panel. We requested an expedited hearing, which was granted to us this past November in Indianapolis. At that hearing, we presented a strong case to challenge the NCAA’s verdict, and to seek relief from the penalties we deemed as excessive, unwarranted or unfair. MEAC Commissioner Dennis Thomas also felt that the initial penalties levied against Morgan were out of line with those imposed on other institutions that have experienced similar violations. He also accompanied us to Indianapolis. As a result of our presentation, the University was successful in convincing the NCAA Infractions Panel to reevaluate and lessen a number of penalties in key areas.
Neither MSU football or softball have posted a winning regular season record since 2009. Morgan State now joins Southern University, Texas Southern University and Howard University in the group of Division I HBCUs to receive ‘lack of institutional control’ sanctions in the last five seasons, regarded as the worst possible violation of NCAA bylaws.
It is the second time in two years Morgan State football has been reprimanded by the NCAA for eligibility issues.
A day before the start of their season, at least 10 Morgan State football players were ruled academically ineligible Friday after an NCAA review revealed shortcomings in mandated academic requirements.