Published April 05, 2013
NEW ORLEANS – As part of Southeastern Louisiana's recent announcement that it mistakenly allowed ineligible athletes to compete, the university is asking the NCAA to accept proposed self-sanctions that include seven scholarship losses for football spread over the next three seasons and four scholarship losses for men's basketball over the same period.
The proposals are included in a report submitted to the NCAA and obtained by The Associated Press through a request under Louisiana freedom of information laws.
Last week, Southeastern, which located in Hammond, announced it mistakenly allowed 137 ineligible athletes to compete between the 2005-06 and 2009-10 academic years, mostly because of compliance officials' mistakes in assessing class credits and the timing of degree changes.
The report shows violations occurred in all 16 of the sports Southeastern had during the period covered by the internal probe, with most coming in football and men's basketball.
During the 2007 football season, Southeastern allowed 18 players to compete while ineligible, and 17 the season before.
The men's basketball team had a high of seven ineligible players during its 2006-07 season.
While Southeastern stressed there was no evidence that an athlete was deliberately certified improperly, the university acknowledged a lack of institutional control and said it "should have known the students did not meet NCAA requirements based on academic and other records available at the time of certification."
The report asserted that certain former compliance officials' misunderstanding of NCAA rules, turnover in the athletic department and records that went missing, possibly when they were moved during a renovation, all contributed to compliance problems. The report specifically cited former compliance coordinator Greg Harrod's "apparent misunderstanding" of NCAA rules while he worked at Southeastern from 2000 to 2006.
It also stated that the compliance staff was not increased when football was brought back to Southeastern in 2003, adding about 125 athletes.
The report said in 90 percent of the cases, ineligibility resulted from the timing of a degree change, and that 86 percent of all ineligible athletes wound up graduating. Most would have remained eligible had they been properly advised about NCAA deadlines for changing majors, the report stated.
Southeastern has dropped men's tennis, as well as men's and women's indoor track since the period covered by the report, and now has 13 varsity sports.
Southeastern's proposed scholarship reductions include:
— Football from 63 to 60 in the 2013 and 2014 seasons, and to 62 in 2015.
— Men's basketball from 13 to 11 next season and to 12 for the following two seasons.
— Baseball from 11.7 to 10.7 for the 2014 and 2015 seasons.
— Women's basketball from 15 to 14 for the 2013-14 and 2014-15 seasons.
— Men's track from 12.6 to 10.6 for the 2013-14 and 2014-15 academic years, and to 11.6 for the 2015-16 academic year.
— Softball from 12 to 10 for the 2014 season, and to 11 for the 2015 and 2016 seasons.
— Volleyball scholarships from 12 to 11 for the next two academic years.
— Women's track scholarships from 18 to 17 for the next two academic years.
— Men's golf from 4.5 to four for the next two academic years.
— Men's soccer from 14 to 13.25 for the next two academic years.
The university also proposes to vacate any victories in which ineligible athletes played, and to vacate all school records set by ineligible athletes.
The report does not specify which games in which sports could potentially be affected if the NCAA approves of the school's proposed sanctions.