The University of Alaska Fairbanks recently received word from the NCAA that it is initiating a major infractions case involving a series of secondary infractions that were self-reported by the Alaska Nanooks in 2011.
The infractions involved academic advising and eligibility for 17 student-athletes over a four-year time period.
“I think it’s really important to note that these infractions are not the result of wrongdoing or poor academic performance by student-athletes, who collectively have higher-than-average GPAs and graduation rates,” said UAF Chancellor Brian Rogers. “This was the university’s mistake, not the student-athletes’.”
In general, to be eligible to compete, student-athletes are required to take at least 12 credits each semester, earn at least a 2.0 GPA and be making progress toward their degree of record. The infractions happened when advising and eligibility certification systems failed to identify students who had not earned the required number of countable credits or who had informally switched majors but not filed the appropriate forms to do so officially.
The university first reported the infractions to the NCAA in June of 2011. Since that time, the UAF Academic Advising Center has hired a full-time academic advisor dedicated to student-athletes and two people in the registrar’s office have been trained in the nuances of NCAA eligibility requirements and assigned to student-athlete records.
“While infractions are not something we want to have, we have used these as a springboard to help improve the systems we have to support our student-athletes,” said athletic director Gary Gray. “We plan to work closely with the NCAA as they work through this case and provide any additional information they need to resolve it.”
The university does not plan to contest the case, since it concerns infractions the university self-reported. The NCAA may move forward with sanctions or request additional information.
The university has already self-imposed some sanctions, including increased reporting to the NCAA and the temporary suspension of nine scholarships in five sports over three years.
ADDITIONAL CONTACTS: Gary Gray, UAF intercollegiate athletics director, at 907-474-6812 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
ON THE WEB: www.alaskananooks.com
NOTE TO EDITORS: A summary of the infractions is available by contacting Grimes.