MIAMI -- Florida International's 3-year-old football program
was placed on three years probation by the NCAA on Monday after an
internal investigation revealed an assistant coach committed
offseason football workout violations.
The unidentified assistant coach -- fired by the school --
supervised and conducted offseason practice, illegal under NCAA
rules. The sanctions don't include any loss of scholarships or
reductions in postseason play or television appearances.
"It is my sense that the NCAA's decision was to give us one
year of probation for each of the seasons in which a violation
occurred," FIU athletic director Rick Mello said. "We are
relieved to have all of this behind us and that no student-athletes
will be negatively impacted."
The violations will also not affect FIU's plans to move into
Division I-A, Mello said. The Golden Panthers are in the second
year of a transition period into college football's upper echelon
and will join the Sun Belt Conference in football this fall.
FIU will hire two assistants to help deal with student-athlete
development and athletics compliance. The name of the fired
assistant won't be revealed because it is an internal school
"It was very important to our institution as we went through
this procedure that we set a serious tone for the future of our
program," Mello said.