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NCAA accepts Nebraska’s ‘punishment’ for textbook violation

Tom Osborne

Way back in July of last year, Nebraska self-reported a minor NCAA no-no for inadvertently allowing players to receive recommended course textbooks in addition to their required books.

I know, the horror.

As a result of this mishap, Nebraska notified the NCAA, placed itself on a two-year probation period and fined itself $28,000 — the value of the recommended textbooks purchased between 2007-10.

Seven months later, the NCAA has decided the self-imposed penalties fit the crime, with the only other detail being that Nebraska will now pay $38,000 instead of $28,000 because the school says it shares culpability. That money will go to charity.

The amount of the, um, “benefit” was about $60 per athlete.

“We are pleased the NCAA chose to accept our self-imposed penalties without additional sanctions,” athletic director Tom Osborne said in a statement. “We are also pleased that the NCAA Committee on Infractions noted there was no intent to violate NCAA rules and no members of our coaching staffs were involved in the matter. We regret that this violation occurred.”

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8 Responses to “NCAA accepts Nebraska’s ‘punishment’ for textbook violation”
  1. LogicalConsideration says: Feb 2, 2012 11:43 AM

    Do I need to point out how obviously stupid this rule is for conflicting with the NCAA’s stated goals of developing STUDENT-athletes?

    “Recommended” texts often might as well be “required” in the eye of the professors assigning them. You generally can’t perform as well in class if you don’t read at least some of the extra material.

  2. deadeye says: Feb 2, 2012 11:49 AM

    So Nebraska got in trouble for allowing players to have more textbooks? How is this a crime?

    The NCAA has some incredibly lame and stupid rules, which inevitably hurts their credibility when trying to enforce the legitimate rules.

  3. thraiderskin says: Feb 2, 2012 12:02 PM

    Oh my, This is the sort of thing that should be a program killer… Academic books clearly create an advantage that other school’s STUDENT-athletes are not getting. (the previous statement is sarcasm)

    I think the fine and probation are rediculous, how about a letter of slap-the-wrist.

  4. lemmam says: Feb 2, 2012 12:03 PM

    has the NCAA lost its mind?

  5. burntorangehorn says: Feb 2, 2012 12:35 PM

    Yawn. I’m no Nebraska fan these days, and I’m not generally sympathetic to the calls for players to be paid, but this is a silly rule. Recommended readings only enhance the educational experience, and should not qualify as impermissible benefits.

  6. sparky151 says: Feb 2, 2012 2:41 PM

    The rule against giving textbooks that aren’t strictly required is stupid and IMO Nebraska did nothing blameworthy.

    On the other hand, in the eyes of the NCAA isn’t this a widespread example of a member institution handing out extra benefits? The fact that it happened with athletes in all sports should be an aggravating factor showing a lack of oversight and institutional control.

  7. burntorangehorn says: Feb 2, 2012 2:50 PM

    sparky, it’s absolutely true that Nebraska should’ve been able to prevent the error, but if you read the linked articles, the players were reported not aware of what they could and could not purchase in the bookstore with their book scholarship allocations. I can see how that could be confusing, having gone through that process myself, although it’s nothing the team couldn’t easily fix by implementing book scholarship allocation usage procedures (namely, get the printout of required books, pick up the required books, check out using allocation for required books, then go back to purchase any additional items with own funds).

    Anyway, Nebraska reported it immediately, so in light of how easy of a mistake this was for the athletes to make, and the up-front nature of the program’s report to the NCAA, I don’t see any reason to expect anything more than this small fine and implementation of better allocation usage procedures.

  8. ukeone says: Feb 2, 2012 3:57 PM

    The last time this issue was brought-up in this sports column, I was truly sick to my stomach as to the total lack of sensical-logic the NCAA has towards our student-athletes. As God is my witness, if my football-playing son was ever offerred a scholarship to play at a great place like Nebraska (or Texas, or wherever), I would certainlt hope that my athlete-son got everything he needed from the school to get that great education ‘first & foremost.’ That is the main reason why I would ever send my son to college in the 1st place ‘for crying out loud’…an education!!! The idea that the NCAA would allow my athletic son to read “only one required book per class” is total ridicule, as I would want my son to get exposed to as many books (as is necessary) to become successful in his chosen field. I feel cheated for my son & for all the student-athletes out there who might have to put-up with this nonsense in the future. For my own son’s sake, I have the best solution: let the NCAA keep its ‘archiac laws’ in tact & let the schools keep their scholarship money. I will gladly get a second or third job and pay for my kid’s education myelf just so that he can get “that extra book” that has become so criminal to the NCAA. Extra benefits rule, my ass: “You all ought to be shot!”

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