The NCAA Division I Committee on Infractions has penalized Samford University for violations of NCAA financial aid rules involving student-athletes in its football, men’s basketball and women’s soccer programs.
From the 2007 summer academic term through the 2009 summer term, Samford provided impermissible financial aid to 49 student-athletes prior to their full-time enrollment at Samford. While all these athletes were enrolled in summer classes, none were enrolled in the NCAA-required minimum of six credit hours, and some were enrolled in physical education courses.
When the violations came to the attention of athletic administrative officials, Samford self-reported them to the NCAA, said athletics director Martin Newton. “Samford had previously never utilized summer financial aid for student-athletes and was simply not familiar with the applicable rules,” said Newton. “Once the potential infractions were realized by the institution, Samford immediately self-reported the violations and the NCAA investigation followed.”
Following a review of the violations, the NCAA placed Samford on two years probation from May 13, 2011, through May 12, 2013, and fined the university $15,000. The probation includes no loss of eligibility by student athletes, no scholarship reduction and no post-season ban.
“Samford agreed that it failed to monitor the rule related to prospective student-athletes enrolled in summer school prior to their full-time enrollment,” said Newton, who was named Samford’s athletics director in March 2011. “These were a series of secondary violations over a three-year period that warranted a public reprimand and censure. These rules were not broken to gain a competitive advantage but as a result of not monitoring the rules for financial aid.
“We shall certainly endeavor to monitor these and all other rules closely in the future,” he added.