For immediate release
Feb. 12, 2009
Contact: Lynne Bruton, director of public relations
Abilene Christian University responds to NCAA sanctions
After initially self-reporting an infraction to the National Collegiate Athletics Association (NCAA) in 2007, ACU has been reviewing and reforming practices to prevent similar infractions from occurring in the future, said Dr. Royce Money, ACU president. On Thursday, the NCAA announced its findings after a yearlong investigation.
“To be clear, we maintain that these infractions do not include intentional violations,” said Money. “While we had systems in place at the time of the infractions, this investigation has led us to strengthen our compliance education.”
ACU director of athletics Jared Mosley said the university began implementing changes immediately after becoming aware of the infractions, which were voluntarily disclosed to the NCAA.
“I want to reiterate my personal commitment to running a sound athletics program through the corrective measures that we have taken,” Mosley said, “and I believe our university is in a much better place today as a result of this process. We have been reviewing and implementing steps we feel necessary to help in the education of our coaching staff, student-athletes, friends and supporters.”
Mosley said the athletics department has distributed materials to ACU friends, alumni and local supporters to help them better understand what they can and can’t do for student-athletes. These materials are posted on the ACU sports website at http://www.acusports.com/.
Additionally, Mosley said an internal Athletics Compliance Committee will be formed to discuss coordinated efforts to remain in compliance with the NCAA. This committee, which will be comprised of members from key departments on campus, will meet each semester to discuss changes or interpretations that occur with NCAA regulations.
The university has a 15-day window to appeal the penalties imposed by the NCAA. Money said ACU will pursue an appeal to the penalties imposed on the football program. More important, he said, is ACU’s commitment to running a program in total compliance with NCAA regulations while still fielding championship-caliber teams.
STATEMENT FROM ACU DIRECTOR OF ATHLETICS JARED MOSLEY
I want to reiterate my personal commitment to running a sound and compliant athletics program through the corrective measures we have taken. While I regret that these infractions occurred, I believe our university is in a much better place today as a result of this review of our program.
We have implemented several changes in our current compliance processes, with a very specific focus on communication of NCAA regulations to our coaching staff, student-athletes, friends and supporters.
While we agree with a majority of the outlined punitive and corrective measures – most of which were self-imposed during this process – we are considering an appeal to the NCAA in regards to the sanctions imposed on the football program.
STATEMENT FROM ACU PRESIDENT DR. ROYCE MONEY
After initially self-reporting an infraction to the NCAA in 2007, Abilene Christian University has been cooperating with the NCAA during its investigation into some of our athletics programs. Our philosophy has been to self-report and self-correct, and that was our process when we discovered an infraction two years ago.
The heart of this university and of its alumni and friends is a compassionate one, and when our people see students in need – whether they are student-athletes or not – it is natural for them to react in a Christian manner, offering help where they see a need. However, we recognize it is our responsibility to do an even better job educating ourselves and our friends about NCAA rules regarding what many might see as simple acts of kindness.
Everyone at Abilene Christian cares deeply about maintaining the integrity of our athletics programs and complying with NCAA rules and regulations. We have a proud athletics tradition at ACU, and I want to make this clear to both our fans and our competitors: despite this ruling by the NCAA, that will not change. We will move forward from this with the resolve to continue to be even more diligent in each area of compliance while continuing to field national championship-caliber teams in each of our sports.