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NCAA hits Missouri with one-year postseason ban

NCAA hits Missouri with one-year postseason ban

Missouri football has been hit with a postseason ban for the 2019-20 season, as well as five percent reduction in scholarships and other penalties after the NCAA ruled a former tutor at the school “violated NCAA ethical conduct, academic misconduct and academic extra benefits rules” by completing academic work for student-athletes at the school. Missouri’s baseball and softball programs have been penalized as well.

As far as the findings with the football program, the tutor completed coursework for six different student-athletes at Missouri, and “completed an entire course for a football student-athlete,” according to the NCAA’s release. The tutor also helped two Missouri football players complete their math placement exams. The exam is a requirement, and students are supposed to take the test alone and without assistance, but the tutor remained with both players during their exams and helped them finish.

From the NCAA’s release:

During her interview with the university and the NCAA enforcement staff, the tutor reported the way in which she was assigned one particular student-athlete to tutor was changed, and an academic coordinator contacted her directly to let her know the student needed to pass a course to graduate. She continued that she felt pressure to make sure the student passed and resorted to completing the student-athlete’s coursework, the committee said. The activity repeated itself with other academic coordinators and other student-athletes, so the tutor continued to complete varying degrees of academic work for student-athletes, according to the report.

The tutor has received a 10-year show-cause order from the NCAA, and any school employing the tutor is to restrict her from athletic-related duties.

Missouri football, like the baseball and softball programs, has been placed on three years of probation with a postseason ban for the upcoming 2019-20 season. The school must also vacate any records from teams in which the players involved competed in while ineligible. Along with the five percent scholarship reduction during the 2019-20 year, the program will also face a seven-week ban on unofficial visits, as well as a 12.5 percent reduction of official visits. Missouri will also deal with a seven-week ban on recruiting communications, off-campus contact and evaluations, and a 12.5 percent reduction in recruiting-person or evaluation days.

Missouri athletic director Jim Sterk issued a statement following the announcement, and said Missouri plans to appeal the NCAA’s ruling.

“Once these issues were brought to our attention in November 2016, the university moved swiftly and fully cooperated with the NCAA Enforcement staff to jointly investigate the allegations that were made,” said Sterk. “We are shocked and dismayed by the penalties that have been imposed today and will aggressively fight for what is right.

“The Committee on Infractions has abused its discretion in applying penalties in this case, and the University will immediately appeal this decision that has placed unfair penalties on our department and programs. It is hard to fathom that the University could be cited for exemplary cooperation throughout this case, and yet end up with these unprecedented penalties that could unfairly and adversely impact innocent current and future Mizzou student-athletes.”