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Ohio State athletics reports 19 NCAA violations

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Ohio State women's hockey and baseball rank the highest in NCAA violations among OSU athletics. Credit: Robert Scarpinito | Managing Editor for Design

Ohio State women’s hockey and baseball rank the highest in NCAA violations among OSU athletics. Credit: Robert Scarpinito | Managing Editor for Design

An impermissible academic benefit by a former Ohio State football player was one of 19 NCAA violations OSU athletic teams reported between Jan. 1 and Sept. 12. The OSU football team reported two violations, with one still awaiting a decision from the NCAA on further action against the program.

The Lantern filed a public records request through the university on Sept. 12, and the request was completed on Oct. 17.

According to the document of self-reported violations, the university received information about possible academic misconduct on Feb. 6, 2015. On July 25, 2015, the Committee on Academic Misconduct charged the former student athlete with academic misconduct. The hearing was delayed until March 3 at the request of the student-athlete, citing his work obligations and being out of state at the time.

In Spring 2014, COAM found that the former student-athlete met with his assigned Student-Athlete Support Services Office tutor for regularly scheduled appointments at an approved institutional tutoring site. During these tutoring appointments, the former student-athlete and the tutor exchanged multiple emails that had one of the student-athlete’s African American and African studies course papers and final exam attached to the email. Several of the emails were sent outside of the appointment times, which is a breach of SASSO practices.

In the investigation of the files, COAM concluded that the file sizes and word counts had changed at some point during the exchanges on both assignments. Due to some of these exchanges occurring outside the appointment times, COAM was not able to conclude whether the former student-athlete worked on the assignments with the tutor on the tutor’s computer, which is permissible, or the tutor acted alone in making adjustments to the assignments — which is not permissible.

The former student-athlete said he would often work on his assignments on the tutor’s computer if he forgot his own computer, then he would either email the assignments to himself, or the tutor would email it to him later, according to the document. When asked during the hearing, the former student-athlete told COAM that he “had no recollection” of the changes made to the attached assignments in the email exchanges.

COAM believed there was enough evidence to charge the former student-athlete with academic misconduct and sanctioned disciplinary probation for one academic year on the institution and reduced the former student-athletes final African American and African studies course grade by a full letter grade.

In addition, the institution relieved the tutor from duties on Jan. 13, 2015, well before COAM began investigating the case.

COAM told The Lantern that it could not comment on any cases, current or past, citing FERPA guidelines. An OSU team spokesman could not identify the former student-athlete for The Lantern.

The case was self-reported on April 28. At the time of the fulfillment of the public records request on Oct. 17, The NCAA had yet to decide if further action is necessary — the only such case of the 19 that is awaiting action.

The only case involving the OSU men’s basketball program was impermissible contact on an official visit, where the prospect engaged in conversation on the sidelines at the OSU football game against Hawaii on Sept. 12, 2015. This was in violation of the NCAA Bylaw 13.1.2.1 which limits permissible recruiters to staff members. The exceptions to the rule include unavoidable incidental contact made with the prospect by people of interest connected to the program, provided that the contact is not prearranged.

A spokesman for the OSU men’s basketball team did not immediately respond to The Lantern’s request to confirm the identity of said prospect or the former student-athlete he conversed with. But on Sept. 12, 2015, it was reported by multiple media outlets that former five-star recruit, and current Arizona Wildcats freshman, Kobi Simmons was on his official visit at OSU, while former Buckeyes Evan Turner, Mike Conley, D’Angelo Russell and Michael Redd were seen at the football game.

The violation was reported on Jan. 1, 2016.

The women’s ice hockey team is tied with the most NCAA violations of any OSU athletics program from Jan. 1 to Sept. 12 with three, all under former head coach Jenny Porter who was fired amid NCAA violations. Here are the details of her exit from the program.

The OSU baseball team also had three NCAA violations, including an athlete incorrectly certified as eligible during the the 2014-15 academic year. The Compliance Office found on Sept. 23, 2015, that the student-athlete participated in 20 contests and received competition-related expenses during the season while ineligible.

The violation was reported to the NCAA on March 17 and the institution submitted a payment of $5,000 for allowing the student-athlete to compete while ineligible. The NCAA found that no further action was necessary given that the institution paid the $500 fine for each of the 10 games played by the student-athlete while deemed ineligible, totaling $5,000.

The second of the OSU football team’s violations involved 48 prospective student-athletes receiving free admission to an OSU football camp. The prospects were associated with the athletic training and development company Rising Stars Recruiting. Rising Stars provided a check to the institution to pay for the 48 prospects who attended the camp, but a stop payment was placed on the bad check when the Athletics Business Office attempted to process the check. Therefore, the 48 prospects received free admission to the camp.

For the rest of the NCAA violations, read here.

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