Kean Athletics receive NCAA Sanctions
By Mike Jago
Kean University athletics have been dealt a huge blow, as the NCAA handed to all athletic programs a probation that will be in place until April 18, 2018. The women’s basketball team in particular has been banned from any postseason play for the 2012-2013 season.
According to an earlier Tower article written by Ryan Gaydos, all athletic programs will need to send annual reports to the NCAA, as well as send representatives to regional seminars. Failure to do so could result in further and stricter sanctions.
The sanctions come at a time where Kean is no stranger to controversy. The University is currently embroiled in accreditation troubles.
The sanctions came about when it was discovered that the women’s basketball team was giving special benefits to their athletes.
According to the NCAA public infractions report, a special three-credit hour course was established for the athletes in connection with their summer trip to Spain. The former head coach, Michele Sharp, was also involved in providing an athlete with a plane ticket to Florida for a tournament the athlete did not have to pay for.
Other instances included changing an athlete’s grade in a Women’s Studies course from an “F” to an “incomplete”, which raised her GPA above a 2.0, allowing her to play in a January game.
Sharp was dismissed as the head coach of the team, and Kean was told by the NCAA that it was to vacate all records of Sharp for the 2010-2011 season, during which the team had posted a win/loss record of 24-5 and reached the NCAA Tournament.
The report stated that Sharp “failed in her duty to promote an atmosphere for compliance in her program.”
Chris Morgan, Kean’s Director of Athletics and Recreation, has stated that the University has no plans to fight the sanctions the NCAA has given them. He said in a statement, “…We will comply with all of the NCAA’s directives in a spirit of cooperation and true sportsmanship.”
It seems lately that Kean can’t escape controversy. The women’s basketball team, which had one of Kean’s more successful athletic programs in recent memory, received the harshest penalties. The rest of Kean’s athletic programs must now cope with the postseason ban they received as well, even if the program did nothing wrong. These penalties come at a tough time for Kean, and the programs will need to bounce back in a big way to achieve the success they once had.