NCAA Committee on Infractions and Pepperdine University Resolve Self-Reported Violations
Since discovering these unintentional violations, Pepperdine has strengthened its oversight and compliance processes.
July 3, 2012
MALIBU, Calif. - The NCAA Committee on Infractions released its final report today on self-reported violations by Pepperdine University. Many of the penalties issued to Pepperdine were proposed by the University and agreed to by the Committee on Infractions.
"Since discovering our internal compliance issues and self-reporting them to the NCAA, we have fully cooperated throughout the review process," Pepperdine President Andrew K. Benton said. "We are confident we have made the corrections and improvements that will allow us to continue to successfully compete in full compliance with NCAA policies."
Said Director of Athletics Steve Potts: "At Pepperdine, we are committed to the highest standards of academic and athletic excellence and Christian values. Integrity, accountability and a strong culture of compliance with NCAA rules fall within that commitment. It is important to note that these NCAA compliance issues were self-discovered and self-reported. There was no intentional misconduct on the part of any coach or staff member and appropriate corrective measures have been taken to ensure that these types of mistakes will not be repeated."
One area of the violations related to the miscalculation of transferable hours for progress-toward-degree requirements for transfer student-athletes. Another area was the over-awarding of financial aid in the sports of baseball, men's tennis, men's volleyball, men's water polo and women's soccer. Those teams surpassed NCAA scholarship limits due to institutional need-based aid being improperly categorized under NCAA rules. Additional findings were that Pepperdine did not seek reinstatement for an ineligible student-athlete, did not maintain squad lists and did not execute a certificate of compliance.
Since discovering these unintentional violations, Pepperdine has strengthened its oversight and compliance processes, including bringing on two experienced individuals to its compliance staff, and making a commitment to continuing rules education university-wide.
When the grant-in-aid violations were discovered in the spring of 2011, Pepperdine immediately self-imposed a one-year postseason ban for the three teams that were over-awarded but were still in the middle of their seasons: baseball, men's tennis and men's volleyball. The postseason ban was for only the spring 2011 season. These teams were eligible for 2012 postseason events and are eligible for all future postseason events.
Pepperdine further proposed the following penalties, which were accepted by the NCAA:
- Three years of probation beginning with the 2012-13 academic year.
- Annual reports to the Committee of Infractions detailing the results of Pepperdine's new policies and programs.
- Scholarship reductions for the five aforementioned sports through the 2014-15 season.
- The vacating of all wins and team accomplishments during the 2007-08 through 2010-11 academic years for the sports of baseball (including an NCAA Championships appearance in 2008), men's tennis (including West Coast Conference titles in 2008, 2009 and 2010 and NCAA Championships appearances all three years) and men's volleyball (including a Mountain Pacific Sports Federation Tournament championship in 2008 and an NCAA Championships appearance in 2008), and the vacating of the individual records of the student-athletes who competed while ineligible.
Sanctions added by the NCAA's Committee on Infractions include public reprimand and censure, the establishment of a rules education program that will be comprehensive and campus-wide (a process that already began this past school year) and certain reporting requirements to the NCAA.
The case was resolved through the summary disposition process, a cooperative effort where Pepperdine and the NCAA's investigative staff submitted the case to the Committee on Infractions.