A Very American Coup By Michael – Louis Ingram, Editor-in-Chief...
MEAC HANDS DOWN PENALTIES AGAINST FAMU FOR VIOLATIONS
GREENSBORO, NC.— Commissioner Dennis Thomas announced today that the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC) has levied substantial penalties against Florida A & M University for violations of student-athlete eligibility as reported in the institution’s self-report submitted to the NCAA and the MEAC office on May 14, 2004 .
According to the audited report, Florida A & M Athletic teams allowed ineligible student-athletes to compete in athletic contests from 1998-2003 in the sports of Baseball (2002,2003), Football (1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003), Men’s Swimming (2001, 2002), Women’s Swimming (2000, 2001), Women’s Basketball (1998-99, 1999-00, 2000-01, 2001-02), Softball (2002), Men’s Outdoor Track & Field (1998, 1999, 2001), Women’s Outdoor Track & Field (1998, 1999, 2000), Men’s Indoor Track & Field (2002, 2003) and Volleyball (1999, 2000) As a result, Florida A&M will lose all Championship titles during the period in which ineligible student-athletes participated and all contests will be classified as “no contests”. “No Contest” means the game(s) against Florida A & M did not count. Those teams who finished tied with Florida A & M for the championships, will be declared champion. Furthermore, the team(s) who finish second to Florida A & M will be declared champion. Florida A&M will also be responsible for reimbursing the MEAC all revenue accumulated from winning the league’s All-Sports Trophies, awarded to the institutions’ top women’s athletic programs and top men’s athletic programs, along with a $25,000 check. FAMU won the Mary McLeod Bethune Award (women’s) from 1998-2001 and the Talmadge Layman Hill Award (Men’s) in 1998, 2000 and 2002, which could require them to pay back $175,000 to the MEAC.
There were 11 MEAC Championships won by Florida A&M from 1998-2002. They include Football (2000, 2001), Men’s Tennis (2000), Men’s Indoor Track & Field (2002), Women’s Indoor Track & Field (1998, 1999, 2000), Women’s Outdoor Track & Field (1998, 1999, 2000) and Volleyball (1999). Florida A & M could face additional penalties from the NCAA, who have not rendered a decision at this time.
Also, Florida A & M, who rescinded there application to the NCAA to be reclassified to Division I-A in Football, has been reinstated to the MEAC in Football for the 2005 season and will compete for the championship in 2005.