Pepperdine will have to vacate its most recent MPSF championship and have scholarship reductions during the next three years because of NCAA violations.
The NCAA Division I Committee on Infractions announced Tuesday that Pepperdine was sanctioned for failing to monitor its athletics department and improperly distributing financial aid to student-athletes.
Five Wave teams, including Pepperdine men’s volleyball, violated NCAA policy from the 2005-11 by awarding athletes non-athletic scholarships without counting those scholarships towards the team’s scholarship count. As a result, teams surpassed the maximum amount of scholarships allowed per team, which in men’s volleyball is 4.5 scholarships.
The NCAA committee also ruled that 22 transfer student-athletes at Pepperdine during this time period were incorrectly certified as eligible because of inadequate compliance at the university.
The penalties for these NCAA violations include Pepperdine men’s volleyball vacating its 66 wins from the 2008-11 seasons as well as its 2008 MPSF championship and 2008 Final Four appearance. In addition, the Waves will receive a 25 percent scholarship reduction per year — about 1.13 scholarships — until the 2015-16 school year.
Among the other teams having to vacate wins included the Pepperdine men’s tennis vacating its three NCAA Tournament appearances from 2008-10. Along with men’s volleyball, the Pepperdine baseball, men’s volleyball, men’s water polo and women’s soccer each were hit with scholarship reductions.
The NCAA also placed the entire Pepprdine athletics department on a three-year probation.
Pepperdine first reported the NCAA violations in March 2011 and issued a one-year self-imposed postseason ban for men’s volleyball and other sports involved in the violations.
Pepperdine president Andrew Benton said in a statement released Tuesday that since self-reporting the violations the school has worked to improve its compliance with NCAA policies. Athletics director Steve Potts also said in the statement he is confident these types of mistakes will not happen again.
“At Pepperdine, we are committed to the highest standards of academic and athletic excellence and Christian values. Integrity, accountability and a strong culture of compliance with NCAA rules fall within that commitment,” Potts said. “It is important to note that these NCAA compliance issues were self-discovered and self-reported. There was no intentional misconduct on the part of any coach or staff member and appropriate corrective measures have been taken to ensure that these types of mistakes will not be repeated.”
The recent NCAA penalties will not prevent any Waves teams from participating in the postseason during the upcoming school year.
Pepperdine men’s volleyball finished last season in seventh place in the MPSF and lost in the conference tournament quarterfinals.