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NCAA upholds UMHB penalty; school must vacate football wins, records

The NCAA Friday upheld its decision that the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor must vacate its wins and records in which ineligible student athletes participated during the 2016 and 2017 football seasons including the team’s 2016 national championship. (Staff photo/file)
The NCAA Friday upheld its decision that the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor must vacate its wins and records in which ineligible student athletes participated during the 2016 and 2017 football seasons including the team’s 2016 national championship. (Staff photo/file)(KWTX)
Published: Jun. 26, 2020 at 1:24 PM CDT|Updated: Jun. 26, 2020 at 1:27 PM CDT
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KWTX) -The NCAA Friday upheld its decision that the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor must vacate its wins and records in which ineligible student athletes participated during the 2016 and 2017 football seasons including the team’s 2016 Division III championship because head coach Pete Fredenburg allowed two student athletes to use his car.

The university appealed the October 2019 NCAA ruling, disagreeing with the decision to vacate the wins and records in addition to its self-imposed sanctions.

“After reviewing the arguments and case record, the Infractions Appeals Committee did not find the vacation of records penalty was excessive, and it affirmed the penalty,” the NCAA said in a press release Friday.

“This process has taken more than two years to complete, and we are deeply disappointed by this final decision,” UMHB President Dr. Randy O’Rear said Friday.

“We believe it is a harsh penalty, especially for all the student-athletes who had no part in the infractions,” he said.

“Today’s decision could cause serious concern about whether the current NCAA enforcement system will encourage or discourage cultures of integrity and self-reporting for those facing similar situations in the future. As soon as we became aware of rules violations, we took immediate and decisive action and we self-reported to the NCAA. But in the end, student-athletes who had nothing to do with the violations have been stripped of their team accomplishments by the NCAA.”  

UMHB won its first national title in program history on Dec. 16, 2016 with a 10-7 win over Wisconsin-Oshkosh in Stagg Bowl XLIV.

The school learned of the potential rules violation in March 2018 and self-reported them to the NCAA's enforcement office in April 2018.

The infractions committee accepted all of the schools self-imposed penalties and corrective actions including two years' probation for the football program, enhanced compliance training and a $2,500 fine, the school said Thursday.

Fredenburg was suspended without pay for three months and then for three games at the start of the 2018 season.

The committee said he allowed a student-athlete to use his car for about 18 months and then provided it to a second player, but the vehicle broke down a short time later.

The NCAA penalties included the following:

*Two years of probation (self-imposed by the university).

*A vacation of records in which any ineligible student-athletes competed.

*A $2,500 fine (self-imposed by the university).

*Outside audit of the college’s athletics policies and procedures to ensure that they are consistent with institutional guidelines and NCAA Division III rules (self-imposed by the university).

*A three-month suspension of the head coach and a suspension for the first three contests of the 2018 season (self-imposed by the university).

*Mandatory attendance for the head coach at a 2018 NCAA Regional Rules Seminar and attendance during each year of probation (self-imposed by the university).

*Mandatory attendance for all assistant football coaches, including the recruiting and academic coordinator, at a Regional Rules Seminar during probation.

*NCAA Division III rules say any student athlete who receives “an award, benefit or expense allowance not authorized by NCAA legislation renders the student-athlete ineligible to compete while representing the institution in the sport for which the improper award, benefit or expense was received.”

(Source/NCAA)

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