NCAA puts EWU football on probation

Eagles can’t participate in playoffs in 2009

The Eastern Washington University football program has been put on three years probation and is banned from postseason due to what the NCAA calls “major violations.”

The NCAA Division I Committee on Infractions released the report on Wednesday.

The violations include impermissible participation by ineligible student-athletes in practice activities, the use of too many countable coaches, failure to monitor by former head coach Paul Wulff, now the head coach at Washington State, and a lack of institutional control and failure to monitor by the university.

Additional penalties include financial aid reductions, coaching limitations and recruiting restrictions.

According to the NCAA, during the 2003-04 through the 2006-07 academic years, 13 football student-athletes were allowed to participate in practice activities even though they were non-qualifiers, they did not have their eligibility certified by the university or the NCAA, or did not meet transfer requirements.

Additionally, two of the student-athletes were provided housing and meals during preseason practice prior to the first day of classes even though they were not eligible to receive such benefits. Further, the university failed to withhold one of the student-athletes from competition after discovering the his involvement in the NCAA violations.

The football program also exceeded the maximum number of 11 countable coaches during the 2003-04 through 2006-07 academic years. During this time, anywhere from 13 to 15 individuals per year were allowed to perform coaching duties in the football program.

The committee found that the violations in this case were the result of Wulff’s inattention to certain aspects of his program. The committee stated it was most concerned that Wulff did not report various violations to the compliance office once he learned of them.

It was also found that the violations in this case were a result of the university’s failure to have in place an effective system of athletics compliance. Specifically, the athletic department failed to have a system in place for monitoring preseason housing and meals; did not establish a proper system for monitoring the activities of those involved in the football program; and did not provide adequate rules education.

The penalties, some of which were self-imposed by the institution and adopted by the committee, are as follows:

• Public reprimand and censure.

• Three years of probation (Feb. 11, 2009 to Feb. 10, 2012).

• Reduction of two overall equivalencies awarded in football from 63 to 61 for the 2008-09 through 2010-11 academic years. (Self-imposed by the university).

• Reduction of the number of full-time coaches by one from 11 to 10 for the 2008-09 through 2010-11 academic years. (Self-imposed by the university).

• Limitation of the number of incoming freshman who are non-qualifiers to no more than three per year for all three years of probation. The university previously averaged seven incoming freshman non-qualifiers per year over a four year period.

• Prohibition of the recruitment of non-qualifiers from two-year institutions for three years. (Self-imposed by the university).

• Prohibition of incoming student-athletes who have not been certified by the NCAA Eligibility Center from attending preseason football camp for a period of two years to include 2009-10 and concluding in the 2010-11 academic year. (Self-imposed by the university).

• The football team shall end its 2009 season with the playing of its last regularly scheduled, in-season contest and is not be eligible to participate in any postseason competition.

• Wulff shall attend, at his own cost, an NCAA Regional Rules Seminar during each of the three years of probation.

• Wulff will not be allowed to have any contact with the Washington State football squad during the first three days of practice prior to the 2009 season.

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