Southeastern Lions report 137 ineligible student-athletes

Thursday, March 28, 2013 - 10:00pm

The Southeastern Lions athletic program could be in hot water with the NCAA after announcing over 100 student-athletes competed without meeting eligibility requirements.

The school says no current student-athletes participated while ineligible, and that the infractions occurred from the 2005-2006 academic year to the 2009-2010 year.

137 players were reported to be academically ineligible.

The university self-reported the infractions to the NCAA.

The school has decided to vacate victories, reduce scholarships and impose a two-year probationary period. The NCAA is currently processing the case.

Below is the press release issued Thursday by the university regarding the infractions.

Following an extensive self-investigation, Southeastern Louisiana University has reported rules infractions to the National Collegiate Athletic Association, university officials announced today.

The university self-reported to the NCAA that 137 student-athletes competed without meeting eligibility requirements between the academic years of 2005-2006 through 2009-2010, with a majority of the violations occurring in 2005-2006 and 2006-2007. Most of the student-athletes failed to meet academic eligibility requirements to compete under NCAA rules.

“This was a case where student-athletes were erroneously certified as being eligible due to flaws in the eligibility certification process” said Athletics Director Bart Bellairs. “In many instances, student-athletes would have been eligible had proper procedure been followed, such as timely declaration or change of a major.

“This was not a case in which student-athletes who lacked academic preparation and ability were recruited to the university,” Bellairs added. “In fact, 86 percent of the student-athletes identified in the case went on to graduate from Southeastern or left the university in good academic standing.”

Athletics staff members responsible for academic advising and eligibility certification during the time of the violations are no longer associated with the university. No current student-athlete at Southeastern participated while ineligible.

“Following the discovery of violations, the university implemented significant safeguards to ensure compliance,” Bellairs said. “We have completely redesigned the eligibility certification process to include much greater participation and oversight outside of the Athletic Department.”

Southeastern has implemented corrective actions that include the appointment of an assistant to the president for athletics compliance, the addition of a new compliance coordinator, the implementation of academic tracking software to strengthen the certification process and streamline monitoring, changes in the eligibility certification process to include oversight by institutional offices outside the Athletics Department, enhanced rules training of athletics coaches and staff, and implementation of new procedures to improve academic advising of student-athletes.

Southeastern has self-imposed penalties as a result of the infractions. Those penalties include vacating victories in which ineligible student-athletes participated, scholarship reductions, and imposition of a two-year probationary period. The NCAA is currently processing the infractions case.

“It is regrettable that current student-athletes, coaches and programs will suffer penalties as a result of these infractions,” Bellairs said, “but I am completely confident the systems we have in place currently will help avoid these issues from recurring.”

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