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Thursday, April 21, 2005
NCAA: School was unprepared to join D-I

Associated Press

INDIANAPOLIS – Stony Brook was placed on three years' probation Thursday by the NCAA, which said the school was poorly prepared to deal with its move to Division I.

The governing body cited a lack of institutional control and violations regarding the certification of 53 athletes. The violations occurred during the 1999-00 and 2000-01 academic years, the first two years following the Long Island school's jump from Division III to Division I.

"There was no evidence that the violations were intentional," the report said. "Rather, they were the result of a compliance coordinator being overwhelmed with Division I requirements."

A reduction of a total of 12½ scholarships in 10 sports, including basketball, football and baseball, will be taken during the next two academic years.

The report noted many of the athletes were ineligible because they failed to properly fill out forms. In addition, there were a number of athletes who competed but should have been declared ineligible because of academic requirements and eligibility and transfer rules.

"The errors that occurred were errors of omission," athletic director Jim Fiore said. "The mistakes made speak to a failed process that was in place during Stony Brook's infancy as a Division I program."

Since the time of the violations, Stony Brook has hired new staff to better monitor compliance. The report said no new violations have surfaced aside from those reported to the NCAA by the university.