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.


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  • tcoutouzis May 24, 2011

    View quoted thread

    This is old news. I new about this last year when it happened. ECU actually found out about it and investigated it and reported it to the NCAA. We run a clean program. We didn't try to hide anything, but found out on our own and not through an NCAA investigation. It shows that we are looking for violations. In the end that protects ECU.

  • NCSU79 May 21, 2011

    Here's how an NCAA investigation should be handled. Maybe Provost Sheerer can loan Chancellor Thorpe some big-girl underwear.

  • 4DukeTillDeath May 20, 2011

    So why wasn't the tennis player ruled ineligible also for helping players cheat?

  • Pirates of the East May 20, 2011

    View quoted thread

    We reported this a year-and-half ago when it happened. The NCAA just now got around to us since they have been so busy with UNC, Auburn, and OSU.

  • TruthBKnown Banned Again02 May 20, 2011

    View quoted thread

    ECU conducted their own investigation and reported it when they were ready.

  • TruthBKnown Banned Again02 May 20, 2011

    View quoted thread

    Yes, we sell out (like pretty much every game for the last 10 years). ECU brought a lot of fans to sit on the grass, when there was a grass hill. Until we add more seating, those records will never be broken. ECU fans packed themselves into the stadium like sardines. This is just proof that we are their Superbowl, not the other way around.

  • TruthBKnown Banned Again02 May 20, 2011

    View quoted thread

    We have every right to talk about cheating to you. Learn it. Know it. LIVE it.

  • morgannyy May 20, 2011

    View quoted thread

    What does that have to do with the price of tea in China?

  • morgannyy May 20, 2011

    View quoted thread

    Funny how ECU didn't report this a year ago, when it happened. WRAL can only report it AFTER it's been released!

  • pgwachholz May 20, 2011

    View quoted thread

    Aren't the top 2 attended games in the history of Carter-Finley Stadium against ECU?
    Correct me if I'm wrong.




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