NCAA penalizes George Mason with 10% scholarship reduction for financial oversight

Photo by Fabiana Huffaker

A clerical error from 2019 will result in George Mason having a reduction in scholarships for the next two years.

The NCAA announced Wednesday that the George Mason men’s volleyball team will lose 10 percent of the maximum amount of scholarship money it can award through the 2023 season because of a prior miscalculation in financial aid.

George Mason during the 2018-19 academic school year incorrectly listed more than $50,000 of countable non-athletics financial aid as non-countable aid, according to a NCAA report. The Patriots as a result of the oversight played the 2019 season at 4.94 scholarships — 0.44 more scholarships than the NCAA limit for Division I-II men’s volleyball.


George Mason finished that 2019 season receiving votes in the national coaches poll and advanced to the EIVA Tournament semifinals.

The athletics department corrected the error and self-reported it following an internal investigation.

Along with the men’s volleyball oversight, the investigation unveiled the school provided scholarships that exceeded the full cost of attendance a combined 27 times for its women’s basketball, men’s basketball, women’s volleyball and women’s track and field teams. The athletics department also during this time used an electronic signature from the financial aid director to sign scholarship agreements without the director formally reviewing and signing the documents — a NCAA violation.

The George Mason athletics department will be placed on one-year probation and have to pay a $5,000 fine for the violations.

The NCAA and George Mason went through a negotiated resolution process to determine the penalties. This process was used instead of a formal hearing because George Mason agreed to the violations and penalties.