Posted by Joey Mullins on 2011-05-13

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.


Samford is a leading Christian university offering undergraduate programs grounded in the liberal arts with an array of nationally recognized graduate and professional schools. Founded in 1841, Samford is the 87th-oldest institution of higher learning in the United States. The Wall Street Journal ranks Samford 1st nationally for student engagement and U.S. News & World Report ranks Samford 66th in the nation for best undergraduate teaching and 104th nationally for best value. Samford enrolls 5,683 students from 47 states and 19 countries in its 10 academic schools: arts, arts and sciences, business, divinity, education, health professions, law, nursing, pharmacy and public health. Samford fields 17 athletic teams that compete in the tradition-rich Southern Conference, and ranks 6th nationally for its Graduation Success Rate among all NCAA Division I schools.