UAF sports team face NCAA decision

by Aaron Walling

Sun Star

Grave news rolled into UAF with the NCAA coming down hard on the Nanooks, not allowing swimming, hockey and basketball to participate in the 2014-2015 post-season.NCAA_primaryc

“The University of Alaska Fairbanks lacked control over, and failed to monitor, its athletics program, according to a decision issued by a Division I Committee on Infractions panel and the  Division II Committee on Infractions,” Emily James, Associate Director of Public and Media Relations, said from the NCAA news release that was made public last Wednesday.

The penalties handed down on the Nanooks will leave a bad taste in their mouths for a while because they will be placed on probation till November 2017.  In the news release by the NCAA, it was said that due to 40 students participating in nine of the ten sports being ineligible was what brought the penalties on UAF. With the Athletic Department already low on funds after a budget cut, they have to pay a $30,000 fine. Not only that but there is also the loss of scholarships to the teams. The three major programs affected by these penalties are swimming, hockey and basketball. Also, the senior leaders on clubs now face possibly not being able to play in the post-season for one last hoorah. Most notably, this will put a damper on both fans and players, as certain teams in hockey and men’s basketball had chances to make some noise in the post-season.

Chancellor Brian Rogers said the infractions were “the results of university errors and not due to any wrongdoing by any of our student-athletes,” according to an article by the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner.

What is really hard for players to comprehend is why they are being  punished for the mistakes that happened before them. Seniors on some of these teams are extremely frustrated, players like Kelly Logue a senior on the women’s basketball team who didn’t want to talk about the situation.

For teams this can be a huge distraction in a season, and no one can prepare for something like this.

“We’re keeping an optimistic, positive view on this,’’ Athletic Director Gary Gray said, “We had some wins, and of course, we had some losses here, and we’ll sustain it,” according to an article from the News-Miner. There is obvious anger towards the situation, but there needs to be patience as most of the issues have been weeded out.

The Nanooks will be on a three year probation having to comply to multiple NCAA investigations. Here is a list of what will hamper the teams here at UAF according to the NCAA press release:

The School:

  1. $30,000 fine.
  2. Inform recruits of the infractions and penalties.

Hockey:

  1. No post-season play for 2014-2015 season.
  2. Awarded one less scholarship for the next three years .
  3. Must vacate wins during any ineligible matches.

Men’s Basketball:

  1. No post-season play for 2014-2015 season.
  2. Awarded one less scholarship for the next three years .
  3. Must vacate wins during any ineligible matches.

Women’s Basketball:

  1. No post-season play for 2014-2015 season.
  2. Awarded one less scholarship for the next three years .
  3. Must vacate wins during any ineligible matches.

Swimming:

  1. No post-season play for the 2014-2015 season.
  2. Awarded 1.53 less scholarships for the next two years.
  3. Must vacate wins during any ineligible matches.

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