KANSAS CITY — The NCAA handed down one of the most “severe penalties in the last few years” to the University of Maine on Wednesday.
The NCAA put Maine on four years probation, and banned the ice hockey team from competing in the 1997 NCAA Tournament. The NCAA also banned Maine from being on television for the 1996-97 season.
The NCAA did not take any action on head coach Shawn Walsh, who will be allowed to return to his post December 24, 1996, following a one-year school-imposed suspension.
Walsh had been accused of unethical conduct by the NCAA Committee on Infractions. Maine was adamant in denial of this, and seemingly was successful, perhaps at the expense of the program as a whole.
The NCAA also added to Maine’s own scholarship penalties. The NCAA will force Maine to give up four hockey scholarships for the 1997-98 season and another two for the 1998-99 season.
Maine will also be forced to forfeit all games in which ineligible players competed in, but the scope of that is not yet known and will be provided by the University of Maine once the calculations have been made.
Maine must also continue to develop its compliance program, and all ice hockey coaches must attend one regional NCAA compliance seminar each of the next two seasons.
In addition, the Maine athletic department and its practices must be recertified by the NCAA.
Maine has scheduled a press conference for 2:30 p.m.