The University of Nebraska Athletic Department announced on Tuesday that it has self-reported to the NCAA violations pertaining to student-athletes who inadvertently received recommended course textbooks, in addition to their required textbooks. Recommended textbooks are not permissible under NCAA legislation. Nebraska admitted violations pertaining to NCAA Bylaws 15.2.3 (book scholarship), 16.02.3 (extra benefit), and 2.8.1 (failure to monitor).
In the report, the University of Nebraska Athletic Department acknowledged and regretted the mistakes made and immediately implemented a new process for disbursing student-athletes their scholarship books. No intentional wrongdoing, no monetary reward and no competitive advantage was gained on the part of any of the student-athletes involved. In all cases, the bookstore staff provided the textbooks believing it permissible and the student-athletes who received them also believed it was permissible.
Nebraska uncovered the violations on its own, conducted a full and thorough investigation of potential violations, and acted expeditiously as soon as it learned that violations were committed by reporting the violations.
While the NCAA permits an institution to provide textbooks and course supplies with no dollar limit as part of an athletics grant-in-aid, these textbooks and course supplies must be required by the professor and listed in the course syllabus. After an internal investigation which began in November of 2010, Nebraska officials determined that over a four-year period covering Spring 2007 through Fall 2010, Nebraska student-athletes in 19 varsity sports received books and supplies recommended by the professor but not required for the course.
The total value of the non-required textbooks provided to student-athletes from Spring 2007 to Fall 2010 was $27,869.47, with the average amount less than $60 per student-athlete. The total value was calculated by taking the cost of the book when purchased, minus the amount refunded to athletics when the books were returned. The student-athletes involved individually paid to a charity of their choice the amount of extra benefit they received. Between February 17 and April 18, 2011, the Nebraska compliance staff processed 57 repayments and reinstatement requests to the NCAA (of those student-athletes whose extra benefits totaled more than $100) and processed repayments by an additional 181 student-athletes whose extra benefits totaled less than $100.
As outlined in the report, Nebraska Athletics self-imposed a two-year probationary period as well as a fine of $28,000 payable to a charity as designated by the NU Student-Athlete Advisory Committee.
The report, prepared by Josephine Potuto, UNL's Faculty Athletics Representative and law professor, was recently submitted to the NCAA.