January 7, 2011

Hobart Sanctioned by NCAA for Violations

by Matt DaSilva | Lacrosse Magazine Online Staff

The Hobart men's lacrosse team will not be eligible for postseason play this year, thanks to several self-reported violations of NCAA rules regarding player eligibility dating back to 1994-95. The school's football program has also been disciplined.

Violations include a failure to get clearance through the NCAA Eligibility Center, ineligible participation, impermissible inducements and extra benefits, inconsistent financial aid and lack of institutional control.

Men's lacrosse is the only sport the Statesmen play at the Division I level. All other sports are Division III. The college's decision to reclassify to Division III after the 2008 season was overturned under institutional pressure from alumni and other members of the Hobart athletics community.

Among the penalties assessed by the NCAA: three years of probation, a one-year postseason ban for lacrosse, vacating records in football for the 2006 and 2007 seasons and lacrosse for the 2006 season, and financial penalties.

"For 14 years, from the 1994-95 academic year through the fall of 2008, the institution allowed its first-year men's lacrosse student-athletes to compete without obtaining eligibility certification from the NCAA. As a result, all student-athletes who competed in that time frame were ineligible to do so," the NCAA reported Thursday. "Further, the institution failed to maintain squad lists for the men's lacrosse team. The institution's failures constituted a lack of institutional control."

The report also cited a failure to track "progress-toward-degree requirements," and that one player during the 2005-06 academic year competed despite failing "NCAA satisfactory progress requirements." Hobart defeated Syracuse that year for the first time in two decades to earn the Kraus-Simmons trophy, which honors a rivalry that dates back to 1916. That victory, among others, has been vacated by the NCAA.

Hobart, which competes in the Eastern College Athletic Conference (ECAC), opens its men's lacrosse season Feb. 19.

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