Friday, January 29, 2010


The NCAA made this stunning announcement yesterday that is sure to shake-up the SUNYAC...

The NCAA Division III Committee on Infractions has imposed one-year postseason bans on State University College at Buffalo and State University College at Geneseo for violations of financial aid rules.

The postseason ban for both schools applies to teams (primarily ice hockey) with student-athletes that had been awarded special grants for students from Canada. Both Buffalo State and SUNY Geneseo had awarded grants almost exclusively to student-athletes, particularly those in men’s and women’s ice hockey.

Though the committee found no indication that anyone in the institutions’ athletics department or administration intended to circumvent NCAA rules, the disproportionate awarding of grants to student-athletes resulted in more than a minimal competitive advantage to the athletics program.

Both cases were resolved through the summary-disposition process, a cooperative effort where the involved parties submit the case to the Committee on Infractions in writing. When the NCAA enforcement staff, the university and involved individuals agree to the facts of the case and penalties proposed by the university, they may use this process instead of a formal hearing.

The following penalties apply to both schools:

* Public reprimand and censure.
* Two years of probation from January 28, 2010, through January 27, 2012 (self-imposed by the institutions).
* Termination of the Canadian grant program for incoming students, beginning with the 2009-10 academic year (self-imposed by the institutions).
* Effective immediately, any of the institution’s athletics teams whose rosters include one or more student-athletes receiving Canadian grants shall end their seasons with the playing of their last regular-season contest and will not be eligible to participate in any postseason competition, including conference tournaments and NCAA championships. Further, any affected teams will not be eligible for regular-season conference championship consideration as long as their rosters include student-athletes receiving Canadian grants.

Both institutions determined that, beginning with the 2010 spring semester, the penalty will be applied by allowing student-athletes receiving the grants to choose either to continue receiving the grant and withdraw from the team or to forego further funds from the grants and remain a part of the team.

In the case of Buffalo State, since the 2009-10 men's and women's ice hockey teams have already played a portion of their seasons using grant recipients, those squads are subject to the provisions of this penalty. The other team at Buffalo State whose roster includes a grant recipient (women's lacrosse) will be subject to the same sanctions if the single grant recipient on the roster does not decline the award for the spring 2010 semester.

The members of the Committee on Infractions who reviewed these cases are Mary Jo Gunning, committee chair and athletics director at Marywood University; Keith Jacques, attorney at Smith Elliott Smith & Garmey; and Dea Shipps, associate commissioner and senior woman administrator for the Eastern College Athletic Conference.

See the news release here: