SVSU continues to look into NCAA violations

After releasing a press release on Feb. 7 about 137 NCAA violations, SVSU is now working to discover which sports, players and seasons were affected by the violations.

The NCAA’s infractions decision report stated that SVSU had “record-keeping violations involving multiple sports and spanning several years.” The result of these violations will include four years of probation and the inability to host any championship competition this spring.

Athletic Director John Decker said SVSU first found out about the violations through Nedra Brown, an SVSU compliance officer in 2017.

“Nedra Brown found out about the irregularities, the amateurism and certification errors,” Decker said. “She left during the natural course of business, but that was in August 2017.”

After finding out about the violations, Decker said SVSU sent in a self-report to the NCAA.

“The self-report was done electronically, and I wasn’t involved in it,” Decker said. “That was the compliance officer, Brown, who was just doing her job.”

Decker declined to comment on the details SVSU included in the self-report. He said the violations were largely a matter of SVSU not certifying athletes as amateurs.

“The NCAA requires athletes to be certified as amateurs, which is basically ‘check a box,’” he said. “That wasn’t done.”

After sending the self-report to the NCAA, Decker said SVSU worked with the NCAA to fix the errors and begin recertifying student-athletes.

“The NCAA infractions decision was a result of a cooperative process, called the summative disposition. We had numerous discussions with the NCAA about the infractions,” he said.

Decker said he could not confirm which sports, student-athletes or seasons were affected by the violations.

“We’re in a post-publication release stage to figure out which sports were involved,” he said. “We have 45 days past (Feb. 7) to do so.”

On how the violations were allowed to happen, Decker said, “I believe the NCAA infractions report sums up the issue thoroughly.”

The NCAA report said that SVSU and the enforcement staff agreed SVSU “lacked control over its athletics program.”

The NCAA report stated, “Weaknesses in SVSU’s athletics compliance program caused a breakdown in SVSU’s eligibility certification process over a multiyear period resulting in numerous student-athletes being erroneously certified.”

Weaknesses the report found included frequent turnover, communication breakdowns and understaffing.

Reporting from Kaitlyn Farley, Vanguard Editor-in-Chief

Kaitlyn Farley

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