Stephen F. Austin facing NCAA penalties for lack of institutional control

Stephen F. Austin faces a series of penalties, including the vacating of games, for a lack of institutional control violation (Level I) involving the "erroneous certification" of 82 student-athletes in nine sports over the past decade, the NCAA announced Wednesday.

On Tuesday, the NCAA announced an eventual postseason ban for the school's baseball, men's basketball and football programs, all of which were included in Wednesday's release, due to an insufficient Academic Progress Rate.

With the latest reprimand, the school must return 50% of revenue (more than $60,000) from the 2016 NCAA tournament, when the basketball program was led by current Illinois coach Brad Underwood, and vacate any games that included ineligible athletes. Other penalties include a 2.5% reduction in football scholarships and a 5% reduction in baseball scholarships -- which can be assessed this season or next season -- plus three years' probation.

The NCAA said the school's violations largely stem from the certification of transfer students who had not fulfilled progress-toward-degree requirements. The report said the university relied on a former academics director to assess the academic eligibility of its athletes without including the university's academics or compliance personnel.

The university and the NCAA used the negotiated resolution process because they agreed on the violations.

The violations occurred across multiple sports from 2013 through 2019, the same range that will be applied when the university vacates games.

"The university was found to lack institutional control because it did not adequately monitor and control the athletics eligibility certification process, failed to properly apply academic certification rules and did not involve staff members from outside of athletics in the certification process," according to the NCAA's release.