The University of Alaska Fairbanks has been penalized by the National Collegiate Athletic Association for eligibility violations. Wednesday, Chancellor Brian Rogers wanted it understood that that the athletes are not to blame.
“These infractions were the result of university error and not due to wrongdoing by any of our student athletes,” Rogers said.
Sanctions include a $30,000 fine, the short term elimination of some scholarships, no post season play for some teams during the 2014-15 season, and the vacation of wins and records achieved by offending athletes and teams they competed for. The academic eligibility violations involve 40 athletes in 9 UAF sports, between 2007 and 2011.
The NCAA eligibility violations were self reported by UAF in 2011 and 2012. Chancellor Rogers attributed them to UAF failing to fully understand, and identify issues for student athletes.
Among the numerous NCAA penalties, is a requirement that UAF develop a program to educate staff on eligibility certification and advising practices, something Athletic Director Gary Gray says the university has already implemented.
“That has been in place now for quite sometime. We continue to educate folks and employees in the registrar’s office, advising, ect.,” Rogers said. “We meet with them monthly; we have a great process, it works, it’s well documented and I would hold it up as a model process. So we’ve completed that requirement.”
UAF has also has hired an academic adviser for student athletes, and designated staff to manage their records.
The NCAA is requiring the university to file an annual compliance report, including a review by an outside consultant.] Gray says UAF will now figure out what records need to be vacated as a result of the NCAA penalties.