Tuesday, September 1, 2015

NCAA REPORT- Eastern New Mexico did not monitor its eligibility certification process

From the ENMU athletic department

September 1, 2015
NCAA Release
Infractions Report

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

The NCAA Division II Committee on Infractions Report, released today, marks the official end of an exhaustive self-investigation conducted by Eastern New Mexico University (ENMU) and the official end of the NCAA's own investigative inquiry into the policies and practices of the institution's Intercollegiate Department of Athletics for the 2008-2009 through 2012-2013 academic years.

Eastern New Mexico University will hold a press conference on Wednesday morning, to address the report. The conference will start at 10:30 MT, in the main gymnasium of Greyhound Arena.

ENMU President Steven Gamble said, "As president of Eastern New Mexico University, I am embarrassed that the institution committed such a significant number of NCAA violations during the period from 2008-2013. However, I am pleased that we responded in such a proactive manner and immediately self-reported our violations to the NCAA. Since discovery of our problems, the athletics staff, other University personnel and I have worked hard to revise our procedures, educate our coaches and staff, and put in place the checks and double checks we should have had to begin with. I have no extenuating circumstances or excuses to offer. I am also confident that Eastern now operates a competent compliance system."

In August of 2012 ENMU officials first became aware of possible NCAA violations when certifying student-athletes for fall sports. An initial inquiry revealed that other areas of the Athletics Department were also seriously deficient and out of compliance with NCAA Division II requirements. A subsequent self-review revealed at the time that the compliance system was not fully engaged and operating effectively. This initial internal review expanded into a full internal audit and investigation. The vast majority of violations cited in the NCAA's Official Notice of Allegations (received by the University in February of 2015) and cited by the Committee in its report were discovered and self-reported by the University during a lengthy and thorough investigatory process.

The NCAA enforcement staff and institution confirmed that from the 2008-2009 through 2012-13 academic years, the institution permitted 132 student-athletes in 12 sports programs to practice and/or compete and receive travel expenses and/or athletically related financial aid at times when they were not eligible or certified to do so. Specifically:
  • During 2008-2009 through 2012-13 academic years, 59 student-athletes lacked amateurism certification
  • During 2008-2009 through 2012-13 academic years, 60 student-athletes had not been certified by the NCAA Eligibility Center
  • During 2009-2010 through 2012-13 academic years, 51 student-athletes had not designated a degree program by their third year of enrollment and/or had not earned sufficient progress-toward-degree requirements
  • During 2009-2010 through 2011-12 academic years, 11 student-athletes did not satisfy NCAA two-year college requirements
  • During 2009-2010 through 2011-12 academic years, 12 transfer student-athletes from four-year institutions were permitted to practice and/or compete and receive travel expenses and athletic related aid during their first year in residence without having been certified eligible
  • During the 2011-12 academic year, 2 student-athletes who had exhausted their eligibility were allowed to compete in fifth seasons of competition.
The NCAA enforcement staff and the institution agree that the scope and nature of the violations demonstrate that from as early as the 2008-09 through 2012-13 academic years, the institution failed to exercise institutional control and monitoring in the conduct and administration of its athletics programs in that it failed to (1) establish a proper system to ensure compliance with NCAA eligibility legislation, (2) provide appropriate NCAA rules education and (3) address previously identified deficiencies within its eligibility-certification system.

Subsequent to receiving the Official Notice of Allegations, the University agreed to process the case using the summary disposition process. The University's final submission of the Summary Disposition Report (SDR) consisted of 373 pages of self-reports and findings. In addition, the University's final submission also included a detailed Corrective Action Plan outlining a series of steps undertaken as early as the 2012-13 academic year to address the identified deficiencies in the athletics compliance system.


Subsequent to receiving the Official Notice of Allegations, the University agreed to process the case using the summary disposition process. The University's final submission of the Summary Disposition Report (SDR) consisted of 373 pages of self-reports and findings. In addition, the University's final submission also included a detailed Corrective Action Plan outlining a series of steps undertaken as early as the 2012-13 academic year to address the identified deficiencies in the athletics compliance system.

These corrective actions are:

  • Creating the new position of Assistant Registrar/Eligibility Coordinator. This Eligibility Coordinator, working with the Registrar and Compliance Coordinator, provides a three-way system of checks and balances.
  • Adding the new position of Athletics Academic Advisor.
  • Establishing the President's Athletics Advisory Committee (PAAC). This committee provides oversight to the institution's compliance system.
  • Creating a Compliance Committee that meets regularly to discuss conference and NCAA rules, compliance policies/procedures, violations, and appeals, while reporting to the PAAC.
  • Writing a comprehensive compliance manual that is made available to compliance and athletics personnel.
  • Requiring a renewed commitment to NCAA rules education. The Compliance Coordinator, Eligibility Coordinator and Athletics Director must annually attend the NCAA Regional Rules Seminar. In addition, the ENMU Compliance Coordinator provides rules education on a monthly basis to ENMU personnel.
  • Establishing a Compliance Summit, a meeting for all coaches and staff which takes place in August prior to the start of the academic year. The agenda includes:
    • Review of the Athletics Department Compliance Manual
    • New NCAA legislation
    • Workflow process
  • Completing a NCAA Blueprint Review, an in-depth evaluation of the University's compliance program. This was accomplished in April 2014 by Division II Compliance Consultant Ms. Kathy J. Turpin, Ph.D. This report provided a roadmap for many of the changes in the ENMU compliance program.
  • Educating student-athletes and providing them with compliance related information in a student-athlete planner.
  • Developing and distributing a Progress toward Degree (PTD) brochure to ENMU faculty in their initial back-to-school meeting.
  • Vacating all victories over the five-year investigatory period and across all NCAA affiliated sports. These include:
    • Football, volleyball, women's soccer, men's soccer, and baseball during the academic years 2008-2009 through 2012-2013. This includes the men's soccer conference championship in 2011.
    • Men's basketball, women's basketball and softball during the academic years 2008-2009 through 2011-2012.
    • The institution will also vacate individual points and team awards (where applicable) in men's cross country 2009 through 2012. The institution will also vacate cross-country conference and regional championships in 2011. ENMU will vacate all individual points and team awards (where applicable) in women's cross country 2011 through 2012. In men's outdoor track and field, the institution will vacate individual points 2010 through 2013, and in women's track and field, will vacate individual points 2011 through 2013. In indoor track ENMU vacates individual points in women's indoor track in 2013.

The NCAA Division II Committee on Infractions report marks the official end of the University's self-investigation as well as the official end of the NCAA's own investigative inquiry. In determining penalties, the Committee on Infractions considered the University's self-imposed penalties and corrective actions. The penalties affecting the entire program include: public reprimand and censure, four years' probation, and a fine of $3,500 plus reimbursement ($1,506.99) to the NCAA (the cost of travel provided for ineligible student-athletes who competed in NCAA post season events).

In addition, the Institution's faculty athletics representative (FAR) must attend NCAA Regional Rules Seminars during the years the director of athletics, the compliance coordinator and the eligibility coordinator attend. The institution must also provide notification to prospective student-athletes that ENMU is on NCAA probation. This information must also be posted on the institution's website. The NCAA penalties do not include a ban in post-season competition or a reduction in the number of grants-in-aid (Athletics scholarships) which the institution may award.


Director of Athletics Jeff Geiser stated, "The process was long and many times painful. However, we all agree that it was, in the end, necessary and constructive. We appreciate all the hard work in this endeavor by ENMU compliance personnel and the administration. We are thankful for President Gamble for adding resources to create new personnel positions. We are appreciative of the NCAA and their staff. We have been treated fairly."



Eastern New Mexico University is located at 1500 South Ave K, Portales, New Mexico, 88130. For more information contact President Steven Gamble, 575-562-2121; Athletic Director Jeff Geiser, 575-562-2153; Adam Pitterman, Director of Athletic Communications, 575-562-4309 or visit the University's Athletic website atwww.goeasternathletics.com.

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