Feb. 11, 2009
The National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) released its findings from a two-year review of activities involving the Eastern Washington University football team from 2003-07. The NCAA looked into a series of secondary rule violations, which, taken in total, led to a major infractions case. The violations largely centered on a lack of compliance to participation rules regarding academically non-qualified and ineligible student athletes.
The university self-reported the violations to the NCAA in February of 2007.
In its report, the NCAA's Committee on Infractions accepted self-imposed measures the university already implemented. Those measures began at the start of the current academic year and will be continually improved and assessed. In addition, the NCAA levied a penalty on the football team which prohibits post-season play during the 2009 football season and placed EWU on three years of probation, from 2009-2012. During the probationary period, EWU will be required to file additional compliance reports with the NCAA.
After the arrival of EWU President Rodolfo Arévalo and Athletic Director Bill Chaves, who came to Eastern in September of 2007, several new monitoring systems and resources for coaches were put in place to reflect Eastern's commitment to properly-managed athletic programs. At the time of the violations, many of those resources were not in place, including checks and balances that may have helped avoid the violations from occurring.
"We accept the NCAA's findings and want to show, through our actions, that we embrace a culture of compliance. We are, however, disappointed with the decision to levy a post-season ban and will be assessing our appeal options.
"We have taken significant compliance measures to ensure we do not find ourselves in this situation again and we were pleased to see the NCAA acknowledged that fact in its report. Those measures will allow us to confidently move forward from this experience believing Eastern athletics are now best-poised to provide a meaningful experience for our student athletes, while remaining competitive on the field," Acting-President John Mason said.