Norfolk State’s athletic department will spend two years on probation for violations in the following sports, football, men’s and women’s track, men’s and women’s tennis, women’s volleyball, baseball, bowling, and softball the school and the NCAA announced on Thursday. Norfolk State must also vacate the 2011 MEAC football championship as part of the penalties put against the school for allowing 48 ineligible students to compete over a four-year academic period.
The improper reporting of 19 football players cost Norfolk State its previous years season wins in 2009 (seven games), 2010 (six games) and 2011 (nine games). Current athletic director, Marty Miller, described it as a “timing error” in the certification process. Overall, 97 wins in six of the sports was sanctioned because of violations. The NCAA also imposed a $5,000 fine against the HBCU in which they stated the university also imposed “meaningful corrective measures and penalties.”
The penalties resulted from self-reported errors found during the school’s 2012 annual review process in which every school must conduct in order to receive admission, financial aid and certification of eligibility. NSU President Eddie Moore Jr. said, the registrar’s office improperly certified athletes by approving coursework toward a given degree, though they didn’t have the authority to do so.” Other penalties issued by the NCAA included reduction of scholarships for some programs during the 2015-15 academic year that were imposed by Norfolk State on itself as part of the September 2013 report they submitted to the NCAA.
In a 10-page report released Thursday, the NCAA concluded that athletes competed while ineligible and received travel expenses, giving the school “more than a minimal advantage” over schools who met the NCAA standards. In the eyes of the NCAA, an “error” as athletic director Marty Miller calls it doesn’t minimize anything, an athlete is either eligible or not.