FAMU Recommends Penalties, Names New Compliance Official
Florida A&M volunteered to strip its football program of 28 scholarships over three years and impose a one-year postseason ban on its men’s basketball team as the school conceded a “widespread” lack of institutional control in an internal report released earlier this week.
The school fired football coach Billy Joe several weeks ago as part of its effort to avoid additional penalties for more than 200 violations that surfaced in nearly every varsity sport at the historically Black college.
The report also recommended eliminating 4.5 baseball scholarships, 3.5 in men’s track and 2.5 in women’s track and curtail recruiting activities for three years and reduce the time allowed for football practice.
The university’s findings revealed more than 100 athletes were allowed to compete without filling out eligibility or drug-testing consent forms required by the NCAA.
Florida A&M said it would vacate any team or individual records or awards resulting from performances by ineligible athletes between 1998-2005.
In addition, the school volunteered to eliminate one assistant basketball coach and a graduate assistant in the program for 2005-06, the same season the school banned itself from the postseason.
In all, 12 of the school’s sports programs will be affected.
The investigation has already led to the school stripping itself of 11 Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference titles, including two in football.
Florida A&M forwarded this report to the NCAA in June, but had not released the details of the proposed scholarship cuts. The NCAA is doing its own investigation at the school and is expected to make its ruling this fall.
The proposed cutbacks would coincide with Florida A&M’s budget cuts that have staggered the athletic department.
Suffering from a school-wide budget crisis, Florida A&M has already eliminated its men’s tennis and golf teams and its men’s and women’s swimming and diving programs, cutting the total number of programs from 18 to 14.
In addition to releasing copies of its own internal evaluation, Florida A&M selected a new compliance director — Rosalyn Dunlap — and the university is also advertising for a new vice president of audit and compliance.
Joe, who was 86-46 in 11 seasons at the school, filed suit last month to get access to records the school cited at the time he was fired. The university pointed to NCAA rules violations in recruiting and eligibility as the reason for his dismissal.
Former University of Miami and Denver Broncos defensive tackle Rubin Carter was chosen as Joe’s replacement last month.
— Associated Press
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