Atheletic department officially off of NCAA probation

On February 10, 2010 the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) announced that FAMU’s athletic probation has ended.

James Elworth, the assistant director of the NCAA committee of infractions, wrote a letter to President Ammons about the probationary period ending on January 31, 2010.

FAMU’s athletic department was placed on probation February 1, 2006 for allowing athletes to compete without meeting the 24 credit hour criteria, completing NCAA paperwork and failure to meet the minimum grade-point average requirement.

Because of such infractions, the NCAA enforced penalties on all athletic teams. These penalties included the reduction of grants and scholarship funding for 15 sports, football practice being reduced by 20 hours and the development of a comprehensive educational and testing session on NCAA rules.

The NCAA recognized conference-imposed penalties, including the return of $175,000 in revenue sharing, and conference championships when ineligible players attended.

President Ammons was appreciative from the news about the department being released from probation.

“This means a lot for FAMU,” said Ammons. “We are now able to move ahead in our athletic programs.”

FAMU will have the opportunity to recruit more athletes on the basis of grants and scholarship money that may play a role in the success of the teams.

“This is great for the baseball team,” said Tim Jones, 21, a third year health care management student from Lithonia, Georgia and a player on FAMU’s baseball team.

“Our practices were only two hours last year.”

Jones said last year the team was short on pitching. The team had to spend a lot of time raising money for the financial needs of the team.

Ammons said in a press release that although this has been a difficult time for FAMU, he fully expects the school to remain committed to compliance with the NCAA rules.

“I want to congratulate our athletic staff for their commitment to abiding by the rules and regulations of the NCAA so that FAMU can again enjoy the full membership without any sanctions.”