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NCAA cites UW-RF for athletic violations

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On Wednesday, April 23, the National Collegiate Athletic Association’s (NCAA) Committee on Infractions released a report concluding that major violations occurred in the UW-River Falls’ athletics program.

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Specifically, the report concluded that UW-River Falls failed to properly educate personnel involved in the awarding of financial aid about NCAA regulations and allowed a former head football coach to be involved in the arranging of financial aid packages.

The report also included a series of secondary violations concerning the awarding of scholarships to five former student athletes during the 2007-2008 through 2011-2012 academic years.

“One of UW-River Falls’ six core values is integrity,” said UW-RF Chancellor Dean Van Galen. “In that spirit, we self-reported the NCAA violations as soon as we became aware that they had occurred and current university leaders have taken proactive and corrective actions to ensure that the previous errors will not be repeated.”

Penalties in this case include one year of probation, a review from the NCAA Committee on Financial Aid, and an outside audit of athletic employment and scholarship awarding practices. Penalties do not include a prohibition from post-season competition or a requirement to vacate past victories.

“Over the past three years we have implemented measures to improve compliance in regards to rules education and monitoring including participation in NCAA financial aid education programs and the establishment of rules education workshops for numerous university departments,” said UW-RF Director of Athletics Roger Ternes. “University leaders have also worked closely with the NCAA, the UW-River Falls Foundation, and our donors to remove all language associated with athletics leadership, participation, and performance from scholarship criterion.”

 To ensure the prompt and accurate dissemination of information pertaining to this case, UW-River Falls has developed a website to serve as a reference for members of the campus community, the media, and prospective student athletes at www.uwrfsports.com/sports/2014/4/23/AD_0423144718.aspx.

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