ECU gets 1-yr probation for self-reported academic violations
Posted May 19, 2011
Updated May 20, 2011
The baseball team at East Carolina University earned one year of probation after self-reporting academic fraud violations to the NCAA, school leaders said Thursday.
ECU provost Marilyn Sheerer announced that the violations do not include scholarship limitations, recruiting sanctions, monetary penalties or any postseason ban.
According to Sheerer, a women's tennis player, who was working as a tutor in the ECU athletic department, wrote papers for four baseball players at East Carolina in 2010.
The academic fraud included writing a paper for two of the student-athletes, eight papers for another and producing a PowerPoint presentation for a fourth.
The baseball team will have to vacate 17 wins and the women's tennis team has to vacate eight during the 2010 season in which the athletes participated while ineligible. ECU will be required to notify all baseball and women's tennis prospects that the school is on probation and provide a compliance report to the committee on infractions. At the end of the probation period, the chancellor must affirm that athletics policies and procedures conform to the NCAA regulations.
"The actions of a few individuals have embarrassed an athletic program and a university," Sheerer said. "No coach and no ECU employee committed a violation."
The university will not release the names of the individuals involved, citing student privacy laws.
"We have implemented numerous corrective actions, and we will continually improve our practices with the intention of being one of the best universities in terms of academic integrity and compliance," said Chancellor Steve Ballard.
The NCAA, satisfied with ECU’s internal actions relative to the violations, reduced the time of probation from two years to one.
ECU has taken the following steps:
- Hiring an additional senior compliance officer, Jamie Johnson, formerly of Rutgers University. Johnson began work in February and reports directly to the chancellor.
- Student-athletes are no longer hired as tutors in the Student Development Office within the athletics department.
- The Division of Academic Affairs, not athletics, oversees the Student Development Office.
- More rigorous training for tutors and student-athletes that clearly defines behaviors that constitute academic fraud and violations of academic integrity. The consequences of such violations are explicitly spelled out.
"This has been a traumatic event for our athletic program that has negatively impacted the lives of young student-athletes and embarrassed us all. It is critically important that the safeguards and guidelines implemented to educate our student-athletes are sufficient to prevent future problems," said ECU director of athletics Terry Holland.