Caltech Sanctioned by NCAA for Athletic Eligibility Violations

Without which they could never have won the big hacky-sack showdown with MIT, no doubt. 

Some of the violations resulted from Caltech’s system in which students attend classes for several weeks before deciding which ones they want to take, and then formally registering for them.  This technically meant athletes were not enrolled as full-time students at the start of each semester.  In other cases, students participated in athletics when they were not in good academic standing.  The problems were exacerbated by the usual “lack of institutional control” that prevails at jock schools like Caltech.

The penalties Caltech incurred were far from trivial:

• Public reprimand and censure.

• Three years of probation from July 12, 2012, through July 11, 2015.

• A 2012-13 postseason ban for the sports of men’s and women’s track and field; men’s and women’s cross country; women’s swimming; baseball; men’s and women’s fencing; men’s soccer; men’s water polo; men’s basketball; and men’s and women’s tennis. . . . (Self-imposed by the university)

• Vacation of all wins and individual records earned when ineligible student-athletes participated. (Self-imposed by the university)

• A financial penalty of $5,000. (Self-imposed by the university)

• Elimination of off-campus recruiting activities for the 2012-13 academic year. (Self-imposed by the university)

And while some of these have a Brer Rabbit quality (e.g. the men’s basketball team recently won its first conference game in 26 years, so the postseason ban will not bite very hard), it just goes to show that the NCAA’s rules are sometimes so complicated that even the geniuses at Caltech can’t figure them out.

Fred Schwarz — Fred Schwarz is a deputy managing editor of National Review.

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