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NCAA: Utica College Failed To Monitor Financial Aid Program

photo courtesy of Utica College

The NCAA Division III Committee on Infractions has found that Utica College failed to monitor its Canadian International Student Award program.

The NCAA says as a result, Canadian student-athletes received more financial aid than the general Canadian student body.

The infractions took place from 2009 to 2011

Penalties in this case include two years of probation, a postseason ban for any teams with student-athletes receiving the financial aid and increased oversight requirements.

That includes the men’s hockey team.

For a link to the NCAA report, click here.

The following is a statement from Utica College on the matter

During the 2009-2010 academic year, Utica College undertook an initiative to increase its enrollment of Canadian students, as part of a larger effort to further expand the College’s growing geographic footprint. The College was strongly positioned in regards to its academic and extracurricular programs to meet particular needs and interests of Canadian students, and allocated additional financial aid specifically targeting Canadian students in select degree programs. The College recognized at that time that this initiative, if not implemented and administered properly, placed the institution at possible risk of falling out of compliance with NCAA regulations concerning financial aid for student-athletes. For this reason, the College sought advice from NCAA compliance officials and other sources when structuring this initiative so to address this risk and provide safeguards we believed then were sufficient. Regretfully, these safeguards were not sufficient.

From 2009 to 2011, the College awarded a small number of institutional grants to Canadian students, a disproportionate number of which were awarded to students participating in intercollegiate athletics. While this activity was non-deliberate, we nevertheless take full responsibility, and do not take our shortcoming lightly.

The College proactively ceased this initiative in 2011, including grants previously awarded. For the past two years we have been working closely with the NCAA to re-examine our financial aid award activity during the period in which the initiative was in effect. Utica College remains committed to expanding access to Canadian students, a population the College remains uniquely positioned to serve. However, we will consider resuming this initiative only at such time that we are confident that our processes have been unequivocally corrected. The sanctions imposed today by the NCAA and the measures the College has previously adopted to ensure a more efficient monitoring system are components of that corrective process.

As an institution that has taken extraordinary pride in fostering and promoting the values of Division III athletics, we remain unswerving in our dedication to the highest principles of fair play. As such, we do not challenge these corrective sanctions; rather, we view them as an opportunity for improvement.


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