On Feb. 1, the NCAA announced penalties against the University of Nebraska for rules violations relating to a textbook and study supplies situation that impermissibly benefited some 492 student-athletes between 2007 and 2010. The extra benefits totaled some $28,000 the NCAA concluded.
The school had self-reported the violations to the NCAA in the summer of 2011. The NCAA characterized the violations as “major” but “narrow in scope”. The NCAA charged Nebraska with a “failure to monitor” violation because of the number of student-athletes involved and because the events took place over several academic years.
The probationary period will last until January 31, 2014. Any further violations committed during this period could be considered for repeat offender status and result in harsher penalties.
Nebraska thus joins the ever-expanding list of NCAA Division I football and basketball programs on probation. Approximately 25% of the 120 Division I Football Bowl Subdivision Schools have run afoul of the NCAA over the past 3 years or are currently under investigation.
These stories’ reach goes beyond the normal sports world. The Nebraska story was reported on by The Chronicle of Higher Education because cheating in college sports is a uniquely American pastime with potential implications for higher education as a whole.
Perhaps these violations should be reported in the same manner as the scores of athletic events are reported, a kind of “box score” of shame.