EMORY, Va. — Emory & Henry College has beefed up its student athlete recruitment policies in the wake of a ruling by the National College Athletic Association, which has placed the College’s athletic program on a two-year probation, according to released statement.
The NCAA ruling also requires the college to vacate its six football wins during the 2012 season and its five wins during the 2013 season, the statement says. However, the college will face no bans on post-season play and no student athletes are ineligible for competition.
In 2013, Emory & Henry officials self-reported possible rules violations to the NCAA and requested an inquiry after information surfaced about the manner in which two student athletes had been recruited, the statement says.
That investigation led to a review of college scholarships that revealed seven of the institution’s 321 endowed scholarships had impermissibly listed athletic participation or leadership as one of multiple award criteria. According to the statement, as a Division III institution, Emory & Henry is prohibited from offering athletic scholarships.
Upon learning of the violation, Emory & Henry immediately counseled individuals directly involved in the recruitment of the two student athletes, the statement says. College officials also have enacted a rigorous NCAA rules education for employees and others involved in the recruitment of student athletes.
Myra Sims, the college’s director of athletics, has created a working group that is meeting at least twice per semester to review policies and procedures that may have relevance to NCAA rules compliance, the statement says.
Sims said the college, through its conscientious response to the rules violations avoided what could have been stiffer penalties.
“By having rules education in place for athletics staff, self-reporting the issue as soon as it came to light, taking swift action to change the scholarship criterion and cooperating fully with the NCAA during the inquiry, we were able to avoid a more serious reprimand,” she said.
In addition to the two-year probation, the NCAA disciplinary action includes a public censure of the college, a restriction on football coaches of off-campus recruiting to 14 days per calendar month during the probationary period, and a prohibition on contact between prospective student athletes and trustees, alumni and other representatives of college athletic interests during the first year of probation, the statement says.
“We accept these disciplinary actions in all earnestness and out of a great regard for the NCAA,” Sims said. “While we deeply regret finding ourselves in this position, we are confident that we now have one of the cleanest programs in Division III and the policies and education components in place to keep it that way.”