NCAA: 5 years' probation for Cheyney

(Clem Murray/Staff file photo)

Cheyney University was placed on probation for five years by the NCAA on Thursday for multiple infractions regarding the university's lack of control over its certification process.

From 2007 through 2011, Cheyney, the nation's oldest African American university, was found to have allowed 109 student-athletes to practice, compete, and receive travel expenses and athletically related financial aid before receiving their amateur certification from the NCAA.

The Division II Committee on Infractions, which rendered the decision, also concluded that a former university compliance director did not follow proper procedures in the certification of student-athletes' eligibility.

The probation is effective immediately and runs through Aug. 20, 2019. Other penalties include the loss of NCAA voting privileges, a self-imposed postseason ban for all sports during the 2013-14 academic year, and the vacating of all wins in which ineligible student-athletes competed during the 2007-08 through 2010-11 academic years.

According to the NCAA, a member of the men's basketball team was permitted to play while not enrolled in the minimum required credit hours and was not making appropriate progress toward his degree.

In this case, Cheyney used an unreliable system that forced staff to access student-athlete records by hand, according to the NCAA. There was no system in place within the registrar's office to monitor full-time enrollment for athletes or to alert the athletic staff if an athlete was a full- or part-time student.

Another violation occurred when Cheyney allowed another member of the men's basketball team to play during his one-year waiting period after transferring to the university. He also was allowed to compete beyond the allotted four seasons.

Two football players were allowed to compete despite being certified as academic nonqualifiers by the eligibility center.