Kalamazoo College Statement on NCAA Infractions
Update: Kalamazoo College appealed the penalties and, on October 18, 2016, the NCAA Infractions Appeals Committee announced Kalamazoo College’s appeal was denied. K has recalibrated the financial aid packages of all student-athletes who had NCAA impermissible financial aid. Consequently, all Hornet Athletic teams are eligible for postseason play and championship consideration.
On March 22, 2016, the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) announced Kalamazoo College had three major violations involving the awarding of financial aid, recruitment practices and failure to monitor NCAA financial aid regulations. The NCAA found there was no intent by Kalamazoo College to circumvent NCAA rules.
The NCAA placed K on probation for a period of three years and placed a ban on postseason competition, including conference tournaments; regular season conference championship consideration; and NCAA championship opportunities, for any team whose roster contains one or more student-athletes who received financial aid impermissible according to NCAA rules. As of March 2016, all Hornet Athletics teams have at least one student-athlete who receives this type of financial aid.
The College intends to appeal the ban on postseason play and the ban on regular season conference championship consideration. According to the NCAA process, the postseason ban will be held in abeyance until the appeal process is completed.
The NCAA will allow K to repackage the impermissible financial aid to maintain postseason play and championship consideration. “We are going to assess each individual student-athlete’s situation carefully before determining how best to proceed,” said President Eileen B. Wilson-Oyelaran. “The College will do its best to honor the commitments it made to student-athletes and their families while maintaining a quality student-athlete experience.”
As soon as K concluded NCAA infractions occurred, the College immediately corrected the process that led to the awarding of impermissible financial aid. Therefore, for students entering in the fall of 2015 and thereafter, the financial aid awards are compliant with NCAA regulations.
In the admission process, Kalamazoo College considers a variety of indicators in addition to grades, including a broad assessment of extracurricular activities such as community service, student government, music and athletics. This admission process does not violate NCAA regulations. The awarding of financial aid violation occurred when extracurricular athletics activities included in the admission process also informed the financial aid process. NCAA rules prohibit the inclusion of athletic extracurricular activity in financial aid consideration.
“The College’s admission process and financial aid policy place value on a holistic view of prospective students. Our intent was to treat all students—the musicians, the artists, the student leaders, the athletes—fairly,” said Provost Mickey McDonald. “The College made a mistake by failing to remove athletic participation in financial aid consideration, a process which is not in alignment with NCAA rules.”
The recruiting violation occurred when the baseball coach, who was new to the College at the time, incorrectly suggested to some prospective students that he could influence the financial aid process. As soon as the College became aware of the misrepresentation, it reported it to the NCAA and provided training for all K coaches.
The third major violation relates to not having had in place appropriate policies and procedures and training for staff regarding NCAA financial aid rules.
Since the investigation began in June 2014, Kalamazoo College has instituted the following changes.
- Ceased including extracurricular activities of any kind when considering the amount of financial aid offered students
- Clarified the NCAA compliance responsibilities within athletics, provided training to those with these responsibilities, and restructured staffing to meet compliance responsibilities
- Provided ongoing, annual training for athletics, admission and financial aid staff
- Hired a consultant to conduct a compliance audit and to make additional recommendations
“All of the NCAA concerns have been corrected. Kalamazoo College is committed to complying with NCAA rules and regulations,” said Wilson-Oyelaran. “We will continue to educate and train our staff and monitor our financial aid programs and recruiting practices so we can best serve our student-athletes and to provide the best athletic program we can.”
The NCAA released a Public Infractions Report on March 22. The report is available online at NCAA.org.