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Publish date: Jan 19, 2012

Morrisville State College commits financial aid violations

NCAA.org

Morrisville State College committed major violations in its men’s ice hockey program, according to findings by the NCAA Division III Committee on Infractions. Morrisville State’s violations include inconsistent financial aid packaging during the 2009-10 and 2010-11 academic years. Penalties in this case include two years of probation and a postseason ban.

Public Infractions Report

Read the Public Infractions report here.

This case was resolved through the summary disposition process, a cooperative effort where the involved parties collectively submit the case to the Committee on Infractions in written form. The NCAA enforcement staff, university and involved individuals must agree to the facts of the case in order for this process to be utilized instead of having a formal hearing.

Violations by Morrisville State arose through the awarding of International Incentive Grants (IIG) and Canadian Student Initiative Grants (CSIG), financial aid programs that were created to boost enrollment of international students on campus. The IIG program gave a tuition discount to all international students who enrolled while the CSIG program gave a housing discount to all Canadian students who lived on campus. Although the school’s admissions office made visits to Canada on occasion, many of the potential international students were referred to the admissions office by Morrisville State’s men’s ice hockey coaches. The committee noted the violations were unintentional, but significant.

During the 2009-10, approximately 29 percent of the awards were given to student-athletes while student-athletes comprised approximately 12 percent of the general student body, exceeding the proportionate amount by more than 16 percent. In 2010-11, nearly 37 percent of the distributed aid was awarded to student-athletes, even though they made up only 13 percent of the general student body, exceeding the proportional amount by nearly 24 percent. Because the percentages were not closely equivalent to the amount of student-athletes within the general student body, the school’s awards were in violation of Division III rules.

The penalties include:

  • Public reprimand and censure.
  • Two years of probation from January 19, 2012, through January 18, 2014.
  • Effective immediately, any of the institution’s athletics teams whose rosters include one or more student-athletes receiving CSIG and/or IIG shall end their seasons with the playing of their last regularly scheduled, in-season contest and shall not be eligible to participate in any postseason competition, including conference tournaments and NCAA championships. Further, any affected teams shall not be eligible for regular season conference championships consideration for as long as their rosters include student-athletes receiving CSIG and/or IIG (the institution proposed this sanction beginning with the 2012-13 academic year).

The members of the Division III Committee on Infractions who reviewed this case include Keith R. Jacques, chair and attorney at Woodman, Edmands, Danylik, Austin, Smith and Jacques; Dave Cecil, director of financial aid at Transylvania State; Mary Jo Gunning, director of athletics  at Marywood University; and Amy Elizabeth Hackett, director of athletics at University of Puget Sound.