NACOGDOCHES, Texas (KETK) – College athletics is built on history, but on Wednesday, much of SFA’s athletic history from 2013 to spring 2019, became set to be removed from the rafters, and the records.
Ryan Ivey, who took over as athletic director in 2018, says two people responsible for this, are no longer with the program.
“It’s not fair to our current student-athletes, it’s not fair to our coaches, but it’s the reality of the situation and the reality of the system that we’re in,” said Ivey. “For us that are currently here, we have to manage and certainly navigate this process now moving forward.”
In the spring of 2019, a member of the athletic department found an eligibility error, dating back six years, and determined 82 student-athletes were improperly verified, thus wins in football, baseball, softball, and men’s basketball had to be vacated.
All those sports except softball will also serve post-season bans.
“It’s not about whether or not they passed a class or not, it’s about whether or not they were in the appropriate courses to maintain progress toward a degree,” said Ivey.
Ivey adds that they have restructured the compliance process and added additional personnel to prevent this from happening again.
The hardest hit comes to the men’s basketball program.
The Lumberjacks are one the top mid-majors in the country, and will now have to see three conference titles, three trips to the NCAA Tournament, and their victory in the first round over West Virginia in 2016, come off the books.
“Our men’s basketball program is one of our premier programs and has certainly gained a lot of notoriety for our university moving forward and something that a lot of our fans and our alumni take a lot of pride in,” said Ivey. “Something they can still take pride in, while those wins may be vacated on paper they’re not vacated in our hearts.”
No one can ever take the memories away, and now according to the NCAA, that’s where these accomplishments will have to stay.
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