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NCAA Committee on Infractions and Pepperdine University Resolve Self-Reported Violations

Pepperdine Magazine is the feature magazine for Pepperdine University and its growing community of alumni, students, faculty, staff, and friends.

The NCAA Committee on Infractions released its final report on July 3, 2012 regarding self-reported violations by Pepperdine University that occurred between 2007-08 and 2010-11. Many of the penalties issued to Pepperdine were proposed by the University and agreed to by the Committee on Infractions.

Said director of athletics Steve Potts: “At Pepperdine, we are committed to the highest standards of academic and athletic excellence and Christian values. Integrity, accountability, and a strong culture of compliance with NCAA rules fall within that commitment. It is important to note that these NCAA compliance issues were self-discovered and self-reported. There was no intentional misconduct on the part of any coach or staff member and appropriate corrective measures have been taken to ensure that these types of mistakes will not be repeated.”

The violations included misapplying progress-toward-degree rules for transfer student-athletes; not seeking reinstatement for an ineligible student-athlete; inadvertently over- awarding the number of allowable athletic scholarships; not properly creating and maintaining squad lists; not properly documenting awarded nonathletic scholarships, which do not “count” against the permissible athletic scholarships; and inadvertently not completing an annual certificate of compliance.

Since discovering these unintentional violations, Pepperdine has strengthened its oversight and compliance processes, including bringing on two experienced individuals to its compliance staff, and making a commitment to continuing rules education University-wide.

When the grant-in-aid violations were discovered in the spring of 2011, Pepperdine immediately self-imposed a one-year postseason ban for the three teams that were over-awarded but were still in the middle of their seasons: baseball, men’s tennis, and men’s volleyball.

The additional penalties announced in July included public reprimand and censure; three years of probation through the 2014-15 season; the vacating of all wins and team accomplishments for the sports of baseball, men’s tennis, and men’s volleyball encompassing the 2007-08 through 2010-11 seasons; and scholarship reductions in those three sports plus women’s soccer and men’s water polo.