SFA forced to vacate nearly 300 wins across multiple sports, including 2016 NCAA tournament win

Sports

NACOGDOCHES, Texas (KETK) – Stephen F. Austin will vacate 289 wins and conference championships across multiple sports as punishment for inaccurately certifying players’ eligibility from 2013-2019.

According to a statement from the university, any win where SFA used an ineligible player participating during that time frame would be officially vacated from the record books. This includes:

  • 117 men’s basketball wins (including the 2016 NCAA tournament win over West Virginia)
  • 112 baseball victories
  • 31 softball wins
  • 29 football wins
  • Three men’s basketball conference championships

The banners for the conference championships will be removed from the gymnasium.

Athletics Director Ryan Ivey wrote that a member of the athletics department discovered this spring that the process that certified student-athletes were being ruled as academically eligible was not meeting all NCAA requirements.

The primary issue was that former department personnel responsible for the certification process were incorrectly counting all semester credit hours to determine academic eligibility instead of counting only degree-applicable credits, as prescribed by NCAA rules.

Ryan Ivey

As a result 82 student-athletes were improperly certified over the six-year period. Ivey said that the personnel responsible are no longer employed by the athletics department.

The NCAA ruled the infractions as a Level I violation and SFA also acknowledged that “it failed to exercise institution control when it did not detect or remedy the errors in a timely manner.”

It was announced on Tuesday that the football, basketball, and baseball teams would have to serve a one-year postseason ban. Basketball will serve theirs for the 2021-2022 season while football will take effect for the 2020 campaign and baseball in 2021.

Head football coach Colby Carthel, who just finished his first year with the team, released the following statement:

“This post-season ban is a result of mistakes made in the past and doesn’t represent the current culture of SFA Football. When we took the program over, we inherited a team with a 2.06 GPA. However, through the hard work of our student-athletes and new academic support team, this spring semester our team achieved a 3.11 GPA! That academic success will continue into the future. I believe in these student-athletes, our current coaches, staff, and administration. There are some great days on the horizon for SFA Football, and we’re all excited to continue building this program into a champion!”

Colby Carthel

The following sanctions were also issued and agreed upon by SFA:

  • Three years of probation;
  • Public reprimand and censure;
  • A fine of $5,000 plus one-half of one percent of the total budgets for football and men’s basketball;
  • The return of 50 percent of the University’s financial share earned from participation in the 2016 NCAA Tournament
  • Included in the vacation of wins are conference championships in men’s basketball in 2014-15, 2015-16 and 2017-18, as well as the program’s First Round win in the 2016 NCAA Tournament.  The banners recognizing those achievements will be removed from William R. Johnson Coliseum.
  • A 2.5% reduction in financial aid awards (scholarships) in football for 2020-2021 and 2021-2022; a 5% reduction in baseball in either 2020-21 or 2021-2022 and the loss of one scholarship in men’s basketball in either 2020-2021 or 2021-22.
  • Prior to the conclusion of the probationary period, the institution will submit to a data review with APP staff.

Watch the video to see the story and to hear from Ivey.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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