The Georgia Southern football program has found itself on the wrong side of the NCAA, and its future roster — and current bank account — will take a little bit of a hit as a result.
The university announced Thursday that the football program has been sanctioned by the NCAA after it was found that two former athletic department officials had provided improper academic assistance to three players. The penalties levied on the program include a reduction of two scholarships for the 2016-17 school year, a 10-percent reduction in official visits and a 10-percent reduction in football evaluations during that same 2016-17 timeframe.
Additionally, the football team will be forced to vacate any wins in which the unnamed players participated while academically ineligible, serve two years probation and pay a fine of $5,000 plus a monetary amount that equates to one percent of its football budget last year.
According to the NCAA report, a former assistant compliance director provided a football player with a flash drive containing her previous work for a course in which the player was enrolled. The player pulled an assignment from the flash drive and submitted it as his own work.
When a professor discovered the plagiarism, the player tried to take sole responsibility for the cheating. But he later told investigators that the staff member gave him the flash drive and instructed him to lie.
In a separate incident, a former assistant director of student-athlete services submitted 10 extra-credit assignments on behalf of two football players. According to the NCAA, she obtained the student-athletes’ usernames and passwords and submitted the work without the players’ knowledge.
Both of the staffers had previously been fired. The NCAA slapped each of them with three-year show-cause orders.
Oh, and the staffer who submitted the 10 extra-credit assignments on behalf of two football players? It was a fail all around as neither player passed the class.