When NC Central realized it had unintentionally miscertified 22 athletes in seven sports between 2012-15, it immediately contacted the NCAA and self-reported the violation.
Wednesday, the Eagles got their reward for their honesty: Two years of probation, a $5,000 fine and the vacating of wins in football, men’s basketball, baseball, men’s and women’s track & field, and men’s and women’s cross country.
The penalties, by extension, also vacate the MEAC football championships Central either won or shared from 2014-16.
According to the NCAA enforcement staff in its report, “the violations were unintentional and the institution otherwise maintained appropriate certification, rules education and monitoring policies and procedures.”
The report further stated that the miscertifications were the result of “a single, but repeated error of counting foundational courses toward student-athletes’ percentage-of-degree completion.”
It blamed the errors on outdated degree auditing and academic advising systems, and an academic support department inadequately staffed to properly oversee the certification process.
In addition to the probation and vacating of wins, the sanctions imposed on Central also include attendance at NCAA regional rules seminars and a completion of an internal academic audit by the end of the current academic year.
The Eagles did, however, escape any scholarship reductions or recruiting restrictions. Their first Division I men’s basketball NCAA tournament appearance was also unaffected, with only 16 wins from the 2012-13 season taken away because of an ineligible player.