Hornets’ penalties are reduced

By BASN Wire Services
Updated: July 5, 2009

MONTGOMERY, Ala. – The NCAA Division I Infractions Appeals Committee has reduced Alabama State University’s probation by two years, claiming the original five-year probation in December 2008 was an “abuse of discretion.”

In a prepared statement issued at the conclusion of its meeting, the appeals committee reported:

“We find that the five-year probation imposed by the Committee on Infractions, the longest period of probation that has been imposed in any Committee on Infractions case, including cases involving repeat and double-repeat violators, constituted an abuse of discretion.”

“It is hereby reduced to a three-year period ending Dec. 9, 2011.”

The ASU community reacted favorably to the new NCAA developments and ASU’s president said the appeals case decision was important and good news for the university.

“We are delighted that we have been vindicated,” said President William H. Harris, “and more important than that though, we have set the foundation for a brand new athletics department and an athletics relationship for Alabama State University.”

Harris said that when he first reviewed the original decision of the Committee on Infractions, he was convinced that the penalties, especially the sanction of probation, were excessive.

“Alabama State University imposed certain sanctions against ourselves in the beginning, but more important than that, we have completely reorganized and put into place additional staff and additional personnel in other offices outside athletics to ensure that the actions that led to the events of December, that were lifted a bit today, do not recur,” Harris said.

Among the many changes that ASU made in its reorganization were the hiring of three full-time Athletic Department compliance employees, along with the addition of two assistant athletic director positions for compliance and academics. An athletic liaison also was assigned to the ASU registrar’s office.