Today, the NCAA released its public infractions report detailing specific infractions by Florida A&M University Athletics and associated penalties:
• From 2010-2011 through 2016-2017, a series oferrors resulted in the participation of student-athletes who were not eligible to compete in several sports. However, these ineligibility infractions did not involve unethical behavior but were primarily the result of administrative issues.
•Based upon the findings, FAMU has self-imposed penalties including post-season bans for the 2019-2020 academic year, recruiting and scholarship reductions and the vacation of records of any seasons of competition that had student-athletes compete while ineligible.
• These self-imposed penalties were necessary to demonstrate our accountability and commitment to doing things the right way.
• Many of the infractions from the data review overlap with the time period of the 2010-2014 NCAA violations.
For the past 18 months, FAMU has been working to address these issues.
“While we cannot change the circumstances of the past, we have accepted full responsibility for the infractions and are committed to running an athletic program that is in full compliance with NCAA rules and regulation,” said FAMU President Larry Robinson, Ph.D.
He added, “Rest assured, we have taken significant steps to address these issues and reduce the likelihood of recurrence. We will meet and exceed the NCAA’s expectations to ensure that FAMU Athletics remains in compliance with its standards.”
The University has adopted an approach that has institutionalized the measures that have been taken to establish a new era of compliance in our programs and have made significant investments in creating an infrastructure within and outside athletics. The new processes implement collaboration among Athletics, Student Affairs, Academic Affairs, and FAMU’s compliance and ethics officer in order to operate this program in a manner conducive to its future success.
FAMU has taken action to codify and strengthen its policies and procedures to enable continuity – and institutional oversight – of the University’s athletics department when turnover occurs. This includes establishing and onboarding a highly competent compliance staff within Athletics and with additional oversight from the University’s compliance and ethics program. Additionally, in early 2018, an Athletic Oversight Task Force was formulated, composed of high-level administrators and other appropriate departmental representatives to foster a University-wide understanding and commitment to Athletics. The University has also made significant improvements by implementing a sustainable plan for continued compliance in Athletics and looks forward to further advancing the culture of compliance at the University.
“It’s a new day in FAMU Athletics. We are certain that with all we are doing and the commitment of Athletics and the University, we are continuing to build a program that Rattlers and supporters will be proud of. We look forward to your continued support of your favorite athletics program and believe there is a bright future ahead for FAMU Athletics,” said FAMU Director of Athletics John Eason, Ph.D.
Although the University agrees with the non-financial penalties, FAMU will consider its option to appeal the NCAA’s financial penalties.