Just when we thought the NCAA could not get any more hatable, they said “hold my beer” and are now bringing the hammer down on Cal Poly SLO. The school must vacate all wins from the years 2012-2015 in 18 sports.
So, why is the NCAA throwing the book at an athletically unimportant program? Well, an NCAA investigation into book stipends found that students may have been given too much money and used the excess on living expenses. Yes, an issue that really needed delving into?
According to SanLuisObispo.com, “The NCAA found that the $800 stipends given to athletes was not equal to the actual cost of course-related books purchased and that Cal Poly failed to monitor its book stipend program. The investigating committee said the stipend exceeded the actual cost of books for 72 athletes by $16,180 — ranging from $5 to $734 — and caused 30 athletes to exceed their individual financial aid limits.”
Seriously? The NCAA is really cracking down on players for receiving an extra $5?
On top of a total of 265 athletes being marked as ineligible for relatively small amounts of money, Cal Poly must also vacate all wins from 2012-2015, will be on probation for 2 years and pay a self-imposed $5,000 fine. The win vacation includes the school’s only NCAA tournament appearance from 2014.
Cal Poly remains adamant that the excessive stipends was an inadvertent error. The mistake was originally found by Cal Poly’s compliance staff and it was self-reported to the NCAA. They have complied through the entire process. This just makes the NCAA look even worse. Not only did they not purposely make a mistake, they get a Louisville Basketball level punishment for trying to rectify it. It gives literally no incentive to schools to self-report or comply with NCAA investigations.
Personally, I think the NCAA has bigger fish to fry. Instead of going after Arizona for the $100,000 they evidently paid DeAndre Ayton, they go after Cal Poly for an athlete who received an extra $5. I bet that one extra beer they were able to order at the bar really gave them an unfair advantage. It’s not like they supplied them with strippers, gave $250,000 to Kevin Love’s AAU coach or gave exorbitant amounts of money to Cam Newton’s dad.
The NCAA never fails to surprise me.