Alaska losing scholarship in ’13 and ’14 due to NCAA infractions

According to a report in the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner, the NCAA is investigating a series of infractions made by Alaska-Fairbanks regarding student-athletes’ eligibility.

The infractions involved 17 students on the hockey, men’s basketball, women’s basketball, swimming, women’s Nordic skiing and rifle teams during a four-year period from the 2007-11. The article states UAF self-reported the items back in 2011.

“I think it’s important to note that these infractions are not the result of wrongdoing or poor academic performance by student-athletes, who collectively have higher-than-average GPAs and graduation rates,” UAF chancellor Brian Rogers said in the report. “This was the university’s mistake, not the student-athletes.'”

The infractions reportedly stem from the school’s advising and sports eligibility systems failing to notify students who hadn’t earned enough credits or who had changed majors without filing the official paperwork.

As a result, the university has suspended nine scholarships during the next three years — two each in hockey, men’s basketball, women’s basketball and rifle and one in women’s Nordic skiing.

“Some teams had the ability to apply their sanctions beginning this year, as was the case with our men’s hockey team, who awarded 17 of 18 scholarships for the 2012-13 season and will do so again in 2013-14,” a UAF spokesperson wrote in an email. “They will be able to award 18 of 18 again beginning in 2014-15. They are withholding a total of two scholarships over this season and next (that satisfies their sanction of two (out of nine) being held back over a three-year period).”

The NCAA could levy further penalties, the story concluded, but the university does not intend to contest any findings since the initial infractions were self-reported.