NCAA Report: Sports Teams Can Play Post Season


Baldwin Wallace University Relations

Lou Higgins Recreational Center

The National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) released their decision Feb. 4 regarding Baldwin Wallace University’s infringement of NCAA rules and the repercussions of the violation.
The report released by the NCAA stated that the university will have three years of probation beginning Feb. 4, 2014 through  Feb. 3, 2017.
During this time, the NCAA Committee on Financial Aid will request a Level Two review from the school, which is a review of all financial aid given to student athletes.
The committee will then monitor all policies and procedures for awarding aid. Also, all athletic directors, coaches, financial aid staff and any other compliant staff must attend seminars held by the NCAA. All post-season play will be allowed for every sports team.
In October 2012 President Robert Helmer announced that all post-season play for the 2012-2013 year would be suspended for the university’s sports teams because BW violated the NCAA policy forbidding participating institutions not to give more financial aid to student athletes. The ban was self-imposed by the university.
Because BW is a Division III school in the NCAA, they are not allowed to reward student-athletes with more aid than non-student athletes.
“The rule itself is rather confusing, but there can be up to a 4 percent difference between the amounts athletes receive compared to the non-athletes. Our offices misinterpreted it as we can give 4% more [financial aid] to student athletes,” Helmer explained.
This misinterpretation had been going on for four years. “Our offices misinterpreted the rule. As soon as it was brought to our attention, we were in compliance with the NCAA policy and self-reported,” Dr. George Rolleston, Director of Financial Aid, stated.
According to the NCAA report, over a period of four years, 63 student-athletes received “special consideration through two programs, due to athletic ability and some of the awards amounted to significant dollar amounts.”
Helmer approached the NCAA, and laid out the information that had come to his attention in regards to the violation. “It was the ethical thing to do. We had an obligation to stand up and take ownership of our mistake. It is a shame that the athletes were the ones to suffer because it wasn’t their fault.” Helmer said.
The announcement was met with confusion and bitterness from students and coaches. Athletes had many questions and Helmer made his best effort to meet with every team to explain what happened and why the ban was imposed.
Kris Diaz, the Athletic Director at BW, is relieved that the NCAA has come back with their much anticipated report. “It was unfortunate that the athletes had to be the ones that suffered the punishment, but I think it is safe to say we are all relieved that the problem has been solved now,” Diaz said.
“It was a painful time for not only student-athletes, but the whole campus. It was a terrible couple of months, but it is solved now. We truly do have the best student-athletes in the world,” Helmer said.