University of Wisconsin La Crosse Cited For Financial Aid Violations

The University of Wisconsin, La Crosse, violated financial aid rules and failed to monitor its athletics program, according to findings by the NCAA Division III Committee on Infractions. Penalties in this case include two years of probation.

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.

From the 2007-08 through the 2011-12 academic years, the university considered athletics leadership, participation or performance when awarding scholarships. During this same period of time, the university allowed athletics staff members to serve on scholarship selection committees. These violations established a failure to monitor by the university.

The committee noted the university did not have an intention to circumvent rules, but the case involved violations of basic, longstanding financial aid rules for Division III.

This case is the latest in a series of situations involving financial aid violations in Division III.

“All member institutions are admonished, that from this point forward, this committee will consider a full range of possible penalties when these cases are brought before us,” the committee stated in its report.

NCAA rules state that Division III schools cannot consider athletics participation or performance when determining financial aid. Further, Division III athletics staff members cannot serve on financial aid committees and must not be involve with the review of scholarships a university offers to student-athletes.

The penalties include:

Public reprimand and censure.
Two years of probation from April 11, 2012, through April 10, 2014.
Prospective student-athletes must be informed the university is on probation and the nature of the violations committed. This information must also be included in the media guides and the web.
The university must request a review from the NCAA Committee on Financial Aid and abide by any recommendations made by the reviewer.
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 University; Amy Elizabeth Hackett, director of athletics at University of Puget Sound; Nancy Meyer, director of women’s athletics at Calvin College; and Garnett Purnell, athletic director at Wittenberg University.