The NCAA put the University of Nebraska on 2 years probation Wednesday for allowing athletes to receive impermissible benefits in the form of textbooks and other school supplies, according to a story on Yahoo News. The NCAA also endorsed Nebraska's self-imposed $38,000 fine.
According to the Division I Committee of Infractions the violations occurred across numerous sports over a period of several years. Nebraska officially reported the incidents last July and admitted that the school had given impermissible benefits in the range of $28,000 from 2007-2010.
The $38,000 will be donated to local charities and the probation will last until January 31, 2014.
Athletic director and former Nebraska congressman Tom Osbornbe said that the school was pleased that the NCAA decided to accept the school's self-imposed sanctions. He also stated "We are pleased that the NCAA Committee on Infractions noted that there was no intent to violate NCAA rules and no members of our coaching staffs were involved in the matter. We regret the violations occurred."
The NCAA only allows athletic scholarships to provide required textbooks, but not professor recommended books. In an internal investigation the school found that 492 students in 19 different sports received books and supplies that were not required.
The estimated benefits were approximately $60 per athlete.
Although, this incident was relatively innocent there have been some recent NCAA investigations that have lead to much harsher penalties, most notably the University of Southern California (USC).
The USC football team was put on 4 years probation, received a 2 year post-season ban and lost 30 scholarships a few years ago after an NCAA investigation revealed that a booster bought a house for the parents of former Heisman Trophy winner and now NFL star Reggie Bush. The basketball program was also punished for its recruitment of now NBA star O.J. Mayo.
In addition, the University of Miami football and basketball program's are currently under investigation after con-man, Nevin Shapiro who has also been criminally charged in relation to his role in a Ponzi scheme, allegedly gave large amounts of impermissible benefits to 72 athletes from 2002-2010. In the wake of the precedent set by the NCAA against USC it will be a surprise if Miami's punishment is not at least as severe.
Although it may be elementary, I guess the lesson in the case of Nebraska is that it is always better to come forward with truth than wait for the legal system to act.
This is especially so when it comes to the NCAA.
What do you think?
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