Jackson State has been placed on two years probation for recruiting violations, according to a release published Friday by NCAA’s Division I Committee on Infractions.
Both JSU and the committee agreed “that 34 student-athletes practiced and competed before receiving final certification from the NCAA Eligibility Center.” Because the university did not prevent the violations from occurring, it ultimately agreed “that it failed to monitor its certification process.”
The violations also include an impermissible $300 payment to a football prospect’s godmother by a former member of the internal operations staff. Additionally, the staff member “impermissibly arranged for tutoring to assist the prospect in completing courses needed to be eligible after transferring.”
In a statement, JSU said it learned of potential violations within its athletics program in August of 2018 and immediately launched an in-depth investigation, which concluded with the submission of a comprehensive self-report to the NCAA’s enforcement office in August of 2018. The violations happened during the 2014-15, 2015-16, 2016-17, 2017-2018 calendar years.
“The NCAA’s Committee on Infractions released its report today and accepted all of JSU’s corrective actions and self-imposed penalties, which includes a two-year probation period for its athletic programs, enhanced compliance training, and a $5,000 fine,” the school said in a statement.
“Jackson State University is committed to a culture of compliance, and the actions we took reflect that commitment,” said Ashley Robinson, the school’s athletic director. “I will like to commend my compliance staff and let the record show we responded quickly, investigated vigorously, immediately self-reported the violations, and independently took decisive corrective steps.”
Considered to be Level II violations by the NCAA, Jackson State’s punishments are as follows:
- Two years of probation.
- A fine of $5,000.
- A 2% reduction in baseball scholarship equivalencies from the annual limit of 11.7 equivalencies during the 2021-22 academic year and a 2.5% reduction in football scholarship equivalencies from the annual limit of 63 equivalencies during the 2021-22 and 2022-23 academic years.
- The football program must serve a one-week ban on unofficial visits in each of January, February, March and April 2021.
- A reduction of four football official paid visits during the 2021-22 academic year.
- The football program must serve a one-week ban of all recruiting communication contacts and off-campus recruiting by the entire football staff with any prospects, including transfers, in each of May and June 2021.
- A vacation of records of contests in which student-athletes participated while ineligible. The university must provide a written report containing the contests impacted to the NCAA media coordination and statistics staff within 14 days of the public release of the decision.
The violations in question occurred before Jackson State announced Deion Sanders as its new head football coach back on Sept. 21.