NC Central receives NCAA probation for eligibility errors

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DURHAM, N.C. (AP) — The NCAA has placed North Carolina Central on probation for two years because of certification errors that allowed ineligible athletes to compete.

N.C. Central disclosed the penalties Wednesday, saying the NCAA determined the errors involved 22 athletes in seven sports — including football and men’s basketball — from 2012-15.

The school says it must vacate victories in the sports in which ineligible athletes participated, including men’s and women’s track and field, men’s and women’s cross country and baseball.

N.C. Central’s basketball team played in the NCAA tournament in 2014, 2017 and 2018.

“The improper certifications came from a single, but repeated, error of counting foundational courses toward student-athletes’ percentage-of-degree completion,” the NCAA’s infractions decision read. “Outdated degree auditing and academic advising systems were another factor that contributed to the violations. Additionally, the academic support and certification groups did not have enough staff to oversee the certification process. Because of the improper certifications, 22 student-athletes competed while ineligible. The university also did not withhold six of the student-athletes from competition before they were reinstated.”

School officials did not say how many wins would be vacated but say they plan to appeal.

The school said administrative errors in the certification process made the athletes ineligible, and the violations were determined to be unintentional.

N.C. Central’s probation runs through May 2020.