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NCAA hits Georgia Tech with two years' probation

By wire services
Published November 18, 2005

ATLANTA - The NCAA placed Georgia Tech on two years' probation Thursday for using 17 academically ineligible athletes in four sports, including 11 in football.

It is the first time Georgia Tech has been placed on probation. The school had proposed self-imposed sanctions, including one year on probation.

Georgia Tech argued the violations were not intentional and might appeal.

"We are disappointed by the ruling of the NCAA Committee on Infractions," athletic director Dave Braine said. "Yes, mistakes were made, but they were inadvertent and confined to a small number of cases when you consider that we reviewed more than 800 transcripts."

The NCAA's Committee on Infractions accepted the school's proposed scholarship reductions in football and men's and women's track. A violation also was found in the women's swimming program, but the swimmer involved was not on scholarship, so that program was not penalized with a scholarship reduction.

There were no TV or bowl restrictions placed on the football program.

Georgia Tech already reduced its 2005 football signing class by six and also will reduce its 2006 signing class by six.

The NCAA added a limit of 79 total grants-in-aid for the 2006-07 and 2007-08 academic years in football, down from the normal limit of 85. Georgia Tech's self-imposed reduction of scholarships this year did not include a corresponding overall limit on scholarships.

There are 83 scholarship players on this year's football team.

Also, the NCAA vacated Tech's records in the sports between the 1998-99 and 2004-05 academic years and issued a public reprimand and censure.

Gene Marsh, a law professor at Alabama who chaired the investigating committee, said Tech's registrars and academic advisers were inadequately trained in NCAA regulations.

Marsh said the committee concluded the "institutional failure" to train the employees on NCAA rules "constitutes a non-debatable lack of institutional control."

Marsh said the committee was influenced by the fact some of the 11 football players, who were not named, were stars.

"Many of these student-athletes were prominent members of the team, including multiple-year starters who had received conference and national recognition for their athletic performances," Marsh said.

"It is impossible to say what part it played, but it did play a part," Marsh said.

Marsh said the committee found six student-athletes were allowed to count grades of D for satisfactory progress even though their majors required grades of C or better. Four were allowed to continue in athletics despite lacking the necessary percentage of degree requirements.

The school has hired a new official in the registrar's office whose main duty is to ensure that athletes meet the proper academic requirements.


FLORIDA: Senior outside hitter Jane Collymore was honored for the second straight year as the SEC player of the year and sophomore setter Angie McGinnis and sophomore middle blocker Kisya Killingsworth were named first-team All-SEC.

UCF: Outside hitter Schanell Neiderworder had 15 kills and 10 digs as the ninth-seeded Golden Knights won their Conference USA championship debut, rallying for a 22-30, 30-24, 30-24, 30-24 first-round victory over No. 8 Memphis in Houston. UCF faces top-seeded Marshall in the quarterfinals at 2 p.m. today.


WHO: Stetson (9-10-1) at USF (12-6-1).

WHEN: 7:30 tonight; USF Soccer Stadium, Tampa.

ADMISSION: $6 for adults and $4 for students and seniors.

UP NEXT: Winner plays Tuesday at 13th-seeded Virginia.

SCOUTING REPORT: USF, making its 11th NCAA appearance, has a 20-4-1 record against NCAA rookie Stetson, but the teams tied last season and the Bulls edged the Hatters in overtime in October. USF freshman Jordan Seabrook tied for the Big East lead with 11 goals, and sophomore Rodrigo Hidalgo finished second with 12 assists. USF averaged 547 fans for 10 home matches. ... This is the second home NCAA Tournament game in school history, after a 2-1 overtime loss to William & Mary in 1998. The Bulls' best NCAA run came in 1997, when they reached the quarterfinals and lost 6-0 at top-seeded Indiana. ... Former Bulls standout Cristian Jimenez, a rookie in MLS, was traded Thursday from Chivas USA to Real Salt Lake.

- GREG AUMAN, Times staff writer

[Last modified November 18, 2005, 01:29:09]

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