Emory & Henry Implements Stronger Athlete Recruitment Policies Following NCAA Ruling
EMORY, Va. – Emory & Henry College has beefed up its student-athlete recruitment policies following a ruling by the National College Athletic Association, which has placed the College's athletic program on a threetw-year probation.
The NCAA ruling also requires that the College vacate its six football wins during the 2012 season and its five wins during the 2013 season. 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. That investigation led to a review of College scholarships, which revealed that seven of the institution's 321 endowed scholarships had impermissibly listed athletic participation or leadership as one of multiple award criteria (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. College officials also have enacted a rigorous NCAA rules education for employees and others involved in the recruitment of student athletes.
In addition, Myra Sims, the E&H 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.
Sims said the College, through its conscientious response to the rules violations, avoided what could have been stiffer penalties. "By having rules education in places 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."
In addition to the three-year probation (April 10, 2015 - April 9, 2018), 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.
"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."