Thursday , Feb , 08 , 2007 C.Y. Ellis

NCAA penalizes McNeese State

Lake Charles, LA (Sports Network) – The McNeese State men’s basketball, and
men and women’s track and field programs were penalized on Thursday for major
NCAA rules violations.

The NCAA Committee on Infractions accepted all of the self-imposed penalties
recommended by the school, including a loss of scholarships, mandated
decreases in recruiting activities, vacation of all women’s track and field
and cross country awards during 1999-2000, through 2003-04 and a two-year
probation period.

The violations include academic fraud, ineligible participation, unethical
conduct by two coaches, impermissible proctoring and tutoring, unallowable
transportation, providing extra benefits as well as other impermissible
recruiting activities.

The track and field violations occurred during 1999-2003 and involved the
participation of an ineligible female athlete, improperly providing student-
athletes extra benefits and the unethical conduct by the head coach.

In July 2003, McNeese and the Southland Conference began an investigation into
possible rules violations by an assistant men’s basketball coach that involved
academic fraud, impermissible lodging and transportation benefits, official
visit violations and unethical conduct.

“We have been waiting for more than two years to bring closure to the
investigation into the major rules violations in the men’s basketball and
track program,” McNeese President Dr. Robert Hebert said. “The NCAA accepted
all of the self-imposed penalties and corrective actions recommended by the
university, and we have moved forward with both programs.”

The school self-reported additional secondary rules violations in the men’s
basketball program in June of 2006.

The penalties do not prevent either the men’s basketball program or men and
women’s track and field program from participating in conference or post-
season tournaments or meets.

“These events happened a long time ago,” McNeese Director of Athletics Sonny
Watkins said. “The former assistant men’s basketball coach and former head
track coach were both asked to resign in fall 2003 and we have moved on in
both programs.”